Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Brokers, builders win with sales surge

Monthly new-home sales hit 47-year high

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New single-family home sales in March surged to the largest monthly percentage increase in 47 years after hitting a record low in February, according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.The clock is ticking on the federal homebuyer's tax credit -- something that the building and brokerage industries lobbied hard to pass, as direct beneficiaries of stimulated sales. And it's working, the National Association of Home Builders and National Association of Realtors said in announcements this week.New-home sales soared to an estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of 411,000 in March, rising 26.9 percent from February's upwardly revised -- but still record low -- annual rate of 324,000.That's the greatest percentage rise since April 1963, when the annual rate jumped 31.2 percent to 605,000 from 461,000 the month before. The sales rate rose 23.8 percent year-over-year. In terms of raw numbers, March's sales rose by 87,000 month-to-mont...