New home sales rose 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in April to an annual rate of 454,000 units.  The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development also revised the March estimate of new home sales dramatically upward from 417,000 units to 444,000.  The April rate of sales was 29.0 percent higher than the April 2012 rate of 352,000 units.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis there were 45,000 sales during the month compared to 42,000 in March.  This brings the year-to-date total to 153,000 units.

Sales fell in April in two of the four regions.  In the Northeast the seasonally adjusted annual rate was 30,000 units, down 16.7 percent from March but up 3.4 percent from April 2012.  Sales in the Midwest were down 4.8 percent to a rate of 59,000, an annual increase of 18.0 percent.

In the South sales rose 3.0 percent month-over-month to an annual rate of 242,000, a 37.5 percent increase from April 2012.  The West was up 10.8 percent to 123,000 units from March to April.  The annual increase was 26.8 percent.

The national inventory of new homes available for sale rose by 3.3 percent to 156,000 units compared to March but the increase in sales kept the supply level at 4.1 months.  One year ago there were fewer homes available - an estimated 146,000 - but those represented a 4.9 month supply.  More than half of the homes currently on the market (88,000) are in some stage of construction; an estimated 39,000 are completed.   

The median price of a new house sold in April was a record $271,000 compared to a median of $236,400 one year earlier.  The average price in the two periods was $330,800 and $287,900.  Of the estimated 45,000 homes sold in April 2013, 12,000 sold for less than $200,000 and another 14,000 sold between $200,000 and $300,000.  Six thousand homes sold nationwide for more than $500,000.