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April New Home Sales Climb 3.3%, Beating Earlier Forecasts

New homes sales rose 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000, the ""Commerce Department"":http://www.commerce.gov/ and ""HUD"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD said jointly Wednesday.


Sales for March were revised upward from 328,000 to 332,000. Economists had expected the report to show a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 335,000 new home sales in April. New home sales in April were up 9.9 percent from April 2011, the seventh straight month of year-over-year increases.

The increase came despite the survey results from the ""National Association of Home Builders"":http://www.nahb.org/ showing buyer traffic ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô new home shoppers ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô had fallen in April to its lowest level in four months. New home sales in April remained below the pace of construction. Builders completed 489,000 new single-family homes


in April, the government reported last week.

On Tuesday, the ""National Association of Realtors"":http://www.realtor.org/ reported existing-home sales in April rose 4.4 percent from March and 10.0 percent from April 2011.

Unlike the report on existing-home sales, which is based on completed transactions (closings), the new home sales report is based on contracts signed, which could be cancelled.

The median price of a new home in April was $235,700, a 4.9 percent increase from April 2011. The median price of an existing home in April was $177,400, up 10.1 percent from a year earlier.

The average price of a new home in April was $282,600 increase, up 5.1 percent from April 2011.

About 30 percent of new homes sold in April carried prices of $300,000 or more, down from 32 percent in March.

Sales improved month-over-month, on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, in three of the four census regions, slipping only in the South. From April 2011 to April 2012, sales increased in all regions except the West.

According to the Commerce Department, the inventory of homes available for sale at the end of April rose to 146,000 from 144,000 in March.

Based on the sales pace, the months' supply of new homes for sale dipped to 5.1 in April from 5.2 at the end of March. The inventory showed improvement from the 6.7 months' supply in April 2011.

About Author: Mark Lieberman

Mark Lieberman is the former Senior Economist at Fox Business Network. He is now Managing Director and Senior Economist at Economics Analytics Research. He can be heard each Friday on The Morning Briefing on POTUS on Sirius-XM Radio 124.

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