New Home Sales Take Surprising Jump in April

Sales of newly constructed homes were up in April, beating most economists' expectations

May 24, 2011

New-home sales surged higher than expected in April, jumping 7.3 percent from March, the Commerce Department announced today.

Sales were at seasonally adjusted annual rate of 323,000 in April, well ahead of the 300,000 median economist estimates of the month according to surveys from Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Reuters. That would have matched March's number. February sales were at a record-low 278,000.

Sales are still well 23 percent below last April, when home sales were receiving a boost from the approaching expiration of the federal tax credit.

The higher pace and declining inventory left a 6.5 month supply of homes for sale on the market, down from 7.2 months in March. The 175,000 new homes for sale in April were a record low. 

The median sale price for a new home was $217,900 in April, up 1.6 percent from March and 4.6 percent from April 2010.

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