New Home Sales Provide Hope for Housing Market

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The housing market may finally be thawing out as early indications of the spring shopping season appear to be positive. Last month, new single-family home sales in the United States rebounded from their worst level in eight months.

On Friday, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that purchases of new single-family homes, measured by contracts signed, jumped 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted 433,000-unit pace in April, compared to the upwardly revised March rate of 407,000 units. However, sales were still 4.2 percent below the April 2013 estimate of 452,000 units. The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2014 was $275,800, and the average sales price was $320,100.

The results were better than expected. New home sales have been soft for months, and economists on average estimated a pace of only 425,000 units. Sales have declined in four of the past six months. In comparison, new home sales reached an annual pace of 1.39 million units in July 2005.