New home sales rose in March

Apr. 25, 2011 07:11 AM
The Associated Press.

WASHINGTON - More people bought new homes in March, helping give the battered industry a small lift after the worst winter for sales in almost a half-century.

The Commerce Department says new-home sales rose 11 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 300,000 homes. That follows three straight monthly declines. But it remains far below the 700,000-a-year pace that economists view as healthy.

Last year was the fifth consecutive year of declines for new-home sales. Economists say it could take years before sales return to a healthy pace.

Poor sales of new homes mean fewer jobs in the construction industry. Each new home creates an average of three jobs for a year and $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders. ... s0425.html