New home sales jump up in April

Sales of new homes jumped back up in April, but remain behind their 2013 pace.

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The Commerce Department and Census Bureau said new home sales increased to as seasonally-adjusted 433,000 in April, a boost of 6.4 percent over March’s 407,000.

But April’s gains didn’t totally reverse two consecutive months of losses. New home sales had hit 457,000 in January, the highest point since June 2013.

The April 2014 numbers are also about 4 percent lower than the 452,000 new home sales in April 2013.

Sales in the Midwest drove the gains last month, while sales fell in the Northeast.

A slowdown in the housing market, driven in part by the harsh winter, helped restrain economic growth the first three months of the year.