plum creek New single-family home sales in April rose 2.3 percent from the previous month, according to a report released today by the US Census Bureau.

Sales reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000 in April, up from the revised rate of 444,000 in March. The median sales price of new houses sold in April was $271,600, and the average sales price was $330,800.

Inventory remained tight, with an estimated 156,000 new homes for sale at the end of April. That’s a supply of 4.1 months at the current sales pace.

Last month, sales of previously occupied US homes hit the highest level in 3.5 years, for a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million, the National Association of Realtors announced Wednesday. Home resale activity increased 9.7 percent in the past 12 months.

“The robust housing market recovery is occurring in spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “Without these frictions, existing-home sales easily would be well above the 5-million unit pace.” he said.

Buyer traffic is 31 percent stronger than a year ago, but sales are only about 10 percent higher year-over-year, according to Yun: “It’s become quite clear that the only way to tame price growth to a manageable, healthy pace is higher levels of new home construction.”

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