New Home Sales Up 2.3%; Prices Rise

New single-family home sales are up 2.3% for April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.

After bumping up a revised 3.5% for March, this newest report contributes to another month of optimism for the housing market recovery. Analysts underestimated the improvement, predicting a slight unrevised 1.9% increase to 425,000.

Source: Commerce Department.

On a regional basis, the West led month-by-month sales growth with a 10.8% increase, followed by 3% gains in the South. These positive pushes proved enough to offset a 4.8% dip in the Midwest and a lackluster 16.7% drop in the Northeast.

At the current rate of sales, there is an estimated 4.1 months of supply. National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted yesterday that "The robust housing market recovery is occurring in spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory."

Yun's supply squeeze is sharply evident in April's house price numbers. Median sales prices hit $271,600, 10.8% above 2012's $245,200.  

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