Purchases of new homes in the U.S. rose more than projected in April, a sign this part of the market is picking up steam during the busiest selling period of the year.
Sales increased 6.8 percent to a 517,000 annualized pace from a 484,000 rate in the prior month, figures from the Commerce Department showed Tuesday in Washington. The median forecast of 70 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 508,000. Prices picked up and inventory was little changed.
Steady hiring, low borrowing costs and a limited supply of existing homes is helping lift demand for new properties. Housing-related companies from PulteGroup Inc. to Home Depot Inc. have said the spring selling season is off to a good start, and the brighter outlook for sales may spur more residential construction, which would contribute to economic growth.