Estimates released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Commerce show sales of newly built single-family homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000 in May. That is 7.6 percent above the revised April rate and nearly 20 percent above May 2011. The spike in sales exceeded economists’ expectations and put sales at a two-year high. The median price for a new house sold in May was $234,500; the average price was $273,900. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of the month was 145,000. That represents a 4.7-month supply at the current sales rate. More here and here.

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