Industry News

New-home sales climb

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Sales of new single-family houses in March rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.2 million units, up 8.9 percent from the previous month, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.   The annualized sales rate for March was nearly 9 percent higher than February's seasonally adjusted 1.1-million-unit pace and 21.8 percent above the March 2003 estimate of 1 million units.   The market is very strong and interest rates are still very attractive," said David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. "Though interest rates are beginning to rise as the economy improves, we still expect the housing market to remain strong because the fundamentals–household incomes, employment and household formations–are strong."   Three regions registered sales increases for the month. The South posted the largest increase with a 19.3 percent gain. The M...