LOS ANGELES (AP) — Homebuyers are facing the most competitive U.S. housing market in decades this spring. Surging prices and a record-low number of homes for sale are narrowing the already difficult path to homeownership for many Americans. From Los Angeles to Boston, homes are selling within days of hitting the market. They often fetch multiple offers that are driving prices well above what sellers are asking. A closely watched index that tracks home prices in 20 U.S. cities recorded an annual increase of 11.1% in January. That’s the biggest gain in seven years. The competitive frenzy is driving homeownership further out of reach for many Americans.