Newly built single-family home sales rose 5.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted 389,000 units, according to new U.S. government figures.
The sales pace is the fastest since April 2010, the National Association of Home Builders said.
"Combined with consistent, positive reports on housing starts, permits, prices and builder confidence in recent months, today's data provides further confirmation that a gradual but steady housing recovery is underway across much of the nation," said Barry Rutenberg, NAHB chairman and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. "Consumers who have been on the sidelines during the past few years are deciding now is the time to go forward with a new-home purchase, assuming they can qualify for a good mortgage under today's exceedingly stringent guidelines."
The NAHB also cheered the numbers of U.S. housing starts in September, which also reached their highest levels in four years. But officials noted the market is still not considered healthy.
"New-home sales this year have consistently and significantly outpaced their year-ago levels as favorable interest rates, rising prices and improving consumer confidence have driven demand higher," said NAHB chief economist David Crowe. "Meanwhile, despite a small increase in the inventory of new homes on the market in September, the number of completed new homes for sale is now at an all-time low and the month's supply is at its tightest since October 2005. This is an indication that builders continue to have a tough time obtaining construction credit, even as demand for new homes increases."