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ORLANDO, Florida (AP) - Florida metro areas continued to lead the nation in short sales of homes in April.

The research firm RealtyTrac said last week that Orlando, Lakeland, Tampa, and Palm Bay had the highest rates of short sales in the nation. The rates for those metro areas ranged from almost 15 percent to more than 13 percent of all home sales.

The nationwide rate in April was 5.2 percent.

A short sale occurs when a home is sold for less than the amount owed on the property.

There was a bright spot in Florida from the RealtyTrac report.

The report says Miami had one of the fastest price appreciation rates in the nation in April. Home values in Miami grew by 20 percent from the previous year, according to RealtyTrac.

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