Sales of new single-family homes jumped 14.8 percent in April, reaching a seasonally adjusted 504,000 units, the Commerce Department reported.
Analysts credited the expiring home
buyer tax credits for much of the increase.
"Clearly the home buyer
tax credit program, which concluded at the end of April, was successful in
getting the housing market moving again by helping many families achieve the
dream of homeownership," said Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association
of Home Builders and a builder from Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "Now that
the program is over, other great buying incentives continue - including
exceptionally favorable mortgage rates, very attractive home prices and the
steadily improving economy - so there is good reason to expect the positive
momentum to continue."
The Midwestern U.S.
registered a 31.6 percent gain; the South, a 10.8 percent hike; and the West was
up 21.7 percent. Sales in the Northeast were flat.
NAHB chief economist David
Crowe said the report was encouraging.
"The surge of buying
activity we have seen in the final two months of the tax credit program has
been very encouraging, and has helped builders work down their standing
inventories to near historic lows," Crowe said. "It stands to reason
that this activity will level off over the next few months, as sales that would
have occurred during that time were likely pulled forward to meet the April
deadline. That said, today's favorable home-buying conditions, the recovering
job market and reviving consumer confidence should help take the place of tax
incentives to generate buyer demand."
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