US sales of new homes shot up 4 percent in March - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

US sales of new homes shot up 4 percent in March

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By JOSH BOAK
AP Economics Writer
   
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sales of new U.S. homes jumped 4 percent in March, propelled by a surge of buying in the West.
   
The Commerce Department says sales last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 694,000. The two prior months had their sales revised upward with the annual rate being 667,000 in February and 644,000 in January. For the first three months of the year, sales are running 10.3 percent higher than a year ago.
   
The March increase was driven almost entirely by a 28.3 percent leap in sales in the West. New-home purchases rose slightly in the South, fell in the Midwest and plunged in the Northeast.
   
The median sales price of a new home rose 4.8 percent from a year ago to $337,200.
 

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