WASHINGTON, DC - Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 2.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000 units in April, according to the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Builders are reporting an active spring buying season as consumers become more confident about going forward with a new home purchase along with steadily firming prices in local markets, said Rick Judson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Charlotte, NC. "While the cost of constructing homes is rising due to tightened supplies of materials, lots and labor, to some extent, this may be creating greater urgency among potential buyers," Judson noted.

NAHB senior economist Robert Denk added, "Today's report is further evidence of the gradual, consistent improvement we have been seeing in housing market conditions over the past year. We're now about half-way back to what could be considered a full recovery, and we do expect to see continual, solid gains in both starts and sales of new homes going forward."

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