An improved economy and a desire of consumers to take advantage of a tax credit for first-time homebuyers that expired at the end of last month combined to cause new home sales to increase 14.8% last month, the Departments of Commerce and Housing and Urban Development reported today.
In April, sales were at an adjusted annual rate of 504,000, compared to 411,000 in March. It's the second consecutive monthly increase following four consecutive monthly declines. Last month's sales were 47.8% higher than those of April 2009.
Last month, the median sales price of new homes was $198,400, compared with $214,000 in March. The average sales price was $249,500, compared with $258,600 in March.
In April, new home sales increased from their March levels in the Midwest, South and West by 31.6%, 10.8% and 21.7%, respectively. They were unchanged in Northeast.
The year-to-year sales figures increased in the Northeast, Midwest, South and West by 85.7%, 87.5%, 38.3% and 41.8%, respectively.
Today's figures were the second consecutive piece of good news on the housing front. Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales increased by 7.6% last month and were 22.8% higher than in April 2009.