Sales of new homes surged 27% last month, bouncing off the previous month's record low and blowing past expectations as better weather and government incentives boosted sales. In all, new home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 411,000 in March, the biggest monthly jump in 47 years, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected a more modest increase to 330,000.
The median sales price was $214,000, up more than 4% from a year earlier but down more than 3% from February. The new home sales report reflects signed contracts to purchase homes rather than completed sales and thus gives economists a feel for how many buyers were out shopping for new homes in a given month.