New-home sales rose 2.3 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000, the NAHB said.

The numbers follow a strong upward revision to the March reported sales figures.

"Builders are reporting an active spring buying season as consumers become more confident about going forward with a new-home purchase along with steadily firming prices in local markets," said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Charlotte, N.C. "While the cost of constructing homes is rising due to tightened supplies of materials, lots and labor, to some extent, this may be creating greater urgency among potential buyers."

New-home sales rose 16.7 percent in the Northeastern U.S., 3 percent in the South and 10.8 percent in the West. Sales declined 4.8 percent in the Midwest.

Robert Denk, the association’s senior economist, said he expects the positive trends to continue for most of the country.

"Today's report is further evidence of the gradual, consistent improvement we have been seeing in housing market conditions over the past year," Denk said. "We're now about halfway back to what could be considered a full recovery, and we do expect to see continual, solid gains in both starts and sales of new homes going forward."