Sales of single-family homes, including co-ops, condominiums and townhouses, fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million homes, 12.9 percent below sales from April 2010, when sales surged due to a federal tax credit offered to first-time home buyers, NAR said.
"Although existing-home sales are expected to trend up unevenly through next year, unnecessarily tight credit is continuing to restrain the market," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a statement.
In April, the national median price for existing homes was $163,700, which is 5 percent below April 2010.
Sales of distressed homes, declined to 37 percent of the market share from 40 percent in March.
Typically, sales of distressed homes includes a discount of about 20 percent, NAR said.
A distressed home is one with the mortgage in default or involved in foreclosure.
NAR said the housing inventory at the end of the month fell rose 9.9 percent to 3.87 million homes in April, a 9.2-month supply at the current pace of sales, up from an 8.3 month inventory in March.