Newly built single-family home sales increased 16.6 percent in April to seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000 units, the NAHB said.

Following an upwardly revised March, home sales are on their best pace since January 2008, the National Association of Home Builders said, citing U.S. government data.

"Builders remain optimistic about the housing market, and this month's jump in new home sales is a positive sign that growing demand will keep the housing sector on an upward trajectory through the spring buying season," said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady, a home builder and developer from Bloomington, Illinois.

There were an estimated 243,000 new homes for sale in April, which is a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace, the association said. The median sales price — which means half sold for more and half for less —was $321,100.

Builders should be busy in 2016, said Robert Dietz, the NAHB’s chief economist.

“Rising home sales combined with tight inventory will translate into increased housing production as we move onward in 2016, especially as job creation continues and mortgage rates remain low," Dietz said.

New-home sales rose 52.8 percent in the Northeast, 18.8 percent in the West and 15.8 percent in the South. Sales fell 4.8 percent in the Midwest.