New home sales in April rose for the first time in five months, increasing 3.3% to 526k following a downward revision of the March reading to 509k. The previous month's reading was previously reported as 526k, which was the lowest level since October 1991. Economists had expected a reading of 523k.

The median sales price of new houses sold in April was $246,100, up from March's revised median of $225,500. From a year ago, the median price of new homes has risen 1.5%

The overhang of supply fell to a 10.6-month supply. The March supply level was upwardly revised to 11.1 months from 11.0 months.

Regionally, new home sales were mostly on the rise. In the Northeast, sales rose to 34k from 24k in March, while in the Midwest, sales rose to 73k from 69k. In the South, sales fell to 289k from 296k a month earlier and in the West, sales rose to 130k from 120k.

Earlier this week, the NAHB and Wells Fargo builder confidence index fell to 19, after remaining at 20 for three months in a row. That's just one point above the record low of 18, a figure last reached in December 2007.

Prior to the release, economists from Barclays Capital wrote, "Adverse weather conditions, which may have contributed to weakness in some regions over the past two months, appear to have improved in April and may lead to a moderate rebound in sales."

In the existing homes index released last week, inventories came in at 11.2 months.

By Patrick McGee with contributions from Stephen Huebl and edited by Cristina Markham