WASHINGTON - Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 11% in June to a seasonally adjusted rate of 384,000 units, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This marks the third consecutive month of improved sales activity.

New home sales were greatest in the Midwest, which rose 43.1%, followed by the Northeast at 29.2 percent, and the West at 22.6%. Sales declined 5.3% in the South, although that is the country’s largest housing market.

“[The] report is good news that indicates the nation’s housing market may be in the process of turning the corner,” said Joe Robson, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “We need to make housing a priority in the recovery process, otherwise we could continue to bounce along a bottom for some time.”

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe added, “The pace of homes sales in June 2009 was still more than 21% off the pace of sales in the same month last year, so we still have quite a way to go. The concern is now that complicating factors, particularly job losses, appraisal issues that are torpedoing more than a quarter of new-home sales, and the impending expiration of the first-time buyer tax credit, threaten to stifle the positive momentum.”

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