New single-family home sales were up 2.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 476,000 for May, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens as PDF) released today.

After increasing a revised 3.3% for April, May's report points to a third month of improvements in sales of new single-family homes.. Analysts had expected a slight rise off of April's unrevised numbers, but their 460,000 estimate proved too pessimistic. The latest number is 29% above the May 2012 estimate.

Source: Commerce Department.

On a regional basis, sales in the Midwest shot up 40.7% month-to-month, while the Northeast recorded 20.7% gains. At -9%, the South was the only region to register a sales slump.

As demand heads increasingly higher, builders are keeping pace with supply. Just as in April, there is an estimated 4.1 months of supply at the current rate of sales. The median home price clocked in at $263,900, down from April's $272,600 median price tag.