Sales of new, single-family houses rose 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted 343,000 units, the NAHB announced, citing government data.
"The increase in April sales activity is in line
with other important housing measures that have shown continued, gradual
improvement from the first quarter as more consumers look to take advantage of
today's low interest rates and affordable home prices," said National
Association of Home Builders Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a builder from
Gainesville, Fla. "In markets where demand is rising, we could be seeing a
faster pace of recovery if not for persistently tight lending conditions that
are slowing both the building and buying of new homes."
New-home sales rose 7.7 percent in the Northeast, 28.2
percent in the Midwest and 27.5 percent in the Western U.S. in April. The South
had a 10.6 percent decline.
“Today's report is representative of the kind of modest
but consistent gains that we expect to see in new-home sales through the
remainder of 2012," said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "As
indicated by our most recent builder surveys, more consumers are taking
advantage of historically low mortgage rates amidst firming economic and job
market conditions in certain areas."