New single-family home sales rose 7.6% from April to May while also shooting up 19.8% from year ago levels, the government said Monday. Looking at data from Econoday, the sales pace set in May is the highest plateau reached since mid-2010.
In May, the sale of single-family houses hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000, up from 343,000 in April and 308,000 a year earlier.
Meanwhile, the median sales price of a new home hit $234,500 in May, and the average sales price reached $273,900. By the end of May, the seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale hit 145,000, which represents a 4.7-month supply.
"The degree that new home sales has fallen is striking, from monthly rates nearly as high as 1.4 million at the peak of the housing stampede ... in 2005," Econoday analysts said. "But that's history, what matters for the economic outlook and for the markets is the monthly path this year which now appears to be movng higher on top of weather-related strength early in the year."
Econoday added that the "stock market is showing little reaction to today's report," but the data may limit pessimism about the economic situation in Europe.
"The report shows some hope for a depressed housing market," said Mitchell Hochberg, principal of Madden Real Estate Ventures in New York. "With the price spread between new and existing homes narrowing and inventory close to historic lows the homebuilder outlook should improve."