New Home Sales Gain in U.S., Defy Expectations

It's been one of the brightest economic readings since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, as sales of newly built homes south of the border rose nearly 1% in April compared with March.

While that may not seem like a lot, the figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau were expected to fall 22%.

Builders have been reporting stronger demand lately, and sentiment popped back in May after falling sharply in April, according to a monthly index from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

After rising sharply in March, mortgage rates fell back in the U.S. during April, encouraging buyers. Builders were also offering more incentives, and, it appears, lower prices. The median price of a newly built home dropped 8.5% annually to $309,900.

Part of that price drop was due to a shift in the mix of homes selling. Homes priced below $300,000 sold the most, while those priced above $500,000 fell.