New home sales up 18.6 percent in May

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 18.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units in May, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the highest rate since May 2008.

“These numbers are in line with our recent builder surveys, which indicate that more consumers are getting off the fence and coming back into the marketplace,” National Association of Home Builders chairman Kevin Kelly said in a statement.

“This increase is a welcome sign after a slow start to 2014,” NAHB chief economist David Crowe said. “As job creation continues, we can expect further release of pent-up demand and continued gradual growth in the housing recovery.”

Regionally, new-home sales were up across the board. Sales rose 54.5 percent in the Northeast, 34 percent in the West, 14.2 percent in the South and 1.4 percent in the Midwest.

The inventory of new homes for sale held steady at 189,000 units in May. This is a 4.5-month supply at the current sales pace.

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