(WASHINGTON) — The housing market -– where the current financial mess started -– is now a bit of a bright spot in the struggling economy. Sales of newly built homes in the U.S. hit the highest level in more than two years, indicating a slow recovery in the housing market, the government reported today.
New home sales were up 7.6 percent in May compared with a month earlier and the most since April 2010, according to the Commerce Department. These sales have an important ripple effect on the economy.
Prices for new homes rose 5.6 percent in May compared with the year-ago to a median of $234,500.
May’s new-home sales were up in two out of four U.S. regions. Sales in the Northeast rose 36.7 percent, while sales in the South grew by 12.7 percent. Sales in the Midwest fell by 10.6 percent and sales in the West fell by 3.5 percent.
Home sales are still well below levels seen in a healthy economy.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis, CNN
Paul Menser, BizMojo Idaho
Stephan Rockefeller, EastIdahoNews.com