San Francisco six sisters Sales of new homes hit the highest level in almost five years in May.

New single-family home sales increased 2.1 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted rate of 476,000, the Commerce Department announced today. This is the fastest rate since July 2008.

The median price for new homes sold in May was $263,900, slightly lower than the median of $272,600 in April, The Wall Street Journal reported. The supply of newly constructed homes for sale at the end of May was 161,000, the highest level since August 2011.

Meanwhile, prices of previously occupied homes in 20 metropolitan areas were 12.1 percent higher in April than a year earlier, according to a separate report by Standard & Poor and Case-Shiller. This represents the biggest annual gain since Standard & Poor started tracking the data.

On a year-over-year basis, the 20 cities in the Case-Shiller index reported home price growth for at least four consecutive months. In April, San Francisco was the biggest winner, with an increase of 24 percent.

Photo: precipices/Flickr

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