Further signs that housing is recovering, the median price for a new home hit a record high, while sales of new homes rose in April to the second highest level since the summer of 2008.
Home sales are now 29% higher than a year ago. Still, sales are still below the 700,000 level considered healthy by economists.
The April increases were led by a strong 10.8% rise in sales in the West. Sales in the South were up 3% but sales fell 16.7% in the Northeast and were down 4.8% in the Midwest.
Sales of previously owned homes rose to the highest level in 3½ years in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million.