WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Sales of new single-family homes rose to an annual rate of 369,000 in May to mark the highest level in more than two years, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Monday. Sales for April were unchanged at 343,000, seasonally adjusted. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected new-home sales to rise to annual rate of 348,000 in May. The median sales price fell 0.6% to $234,500 last month. Lower prices, low interest rates and warmer weather likely gave a small boost to sales. The supply of new homes on the market, at current sales pace, fell to 4.7 months from 5.0 in April. Even with the latest increase, however, sales of new homes are far below the normal level and reflect an industry still trying to dig out of its worst slump in modern times.
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By Jeffry Bartash