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US new home sales jump in April

Sales of newly built homes in the United States jumped in April and prices surged as demand picks up against a still constricted supply, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

Sales of new single-family houses surged to an annual pace of 454,000, up 2.3 percent from March and 29 percent from a year earlier.

The median sales price rose to $271,600, compared to an average of $256,200 for the first three months of the year. The year-earlier median was $236,400.

Supply on the market remained tight at 156,000 new houses, or 4.1 months worth of supply at the current sales rate.

Home sales remained strongest in the west, where they rose 3.3 percent in April from March, and weakest in the northeast where sales fell 16.7 percent in the month.

On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors said existing or used homes sold at their fastest pace in nearly three and a half years in April, for an annual rate of 4.97 million units.

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