New-home sales rise 7.3% in April

By Derek Kravitz
The Associated Press

A carpenter works on a new home in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Sales of new homes rose 7.3 percent in April. (Julie Jacobson, The Associated Press )

WASHINGTON — More people bought new homes for a second straight month in April, a hopeful sign. Still, sales remain below a pace that would signal a turnaround for the housing market.

New-home sales rose 7.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 323,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. A healthy real estate market would produce about 700,000 new-home sales a year.

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People have little incentive to buy new homes, in part because they’re comparatively expensive. The median price of a new home rose more than 2 percent from March to $217,900. New-home prices are more than 30 percent higher than the median price of resales — twice the normal markup.

The latest sales figures come in

the midst of a weak spring homebuying season. Analysts had been predicting an uptick in sales for the past several months. It hasn’t happened. April’s new-home sales are 23 percent lower than in the same month last year.Many would-be buyers of new homes are instead favoring older, discounted resale homes, said agent Paul Bell of Prudential Americana Group in Las Vegas.

“That’s where the deals are,” Bell said.

Shares of homebuilders rallied after the report on new-home sales suggested that builders might step up construction. But stocks quickly fell on concerns over Europe’s debt crisis.

Last year, Americans bought the fewest new homes on records going back 47 years.

Read more:New-home sales rise 7.3% in April – The Denver Post

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About dherries
Dave and Sally Herries and The RealtyColorado Team - Real Estate Broker serving the metro-Denver area. Offering properties in urban, sub-urban and rural areas. Our mission statement is "Enriching lives through real estate."

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