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New Home Sales Reach Five-year High
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 5:55 AM

Americans snapped up new homes in June at the fastest pace in five years, a sign the housing recovery is strengthening. The Commerce Department reports that sales rose 8.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 497,000. That's up from an annual pace of 459,000 in May, which was revised lower.

While sales are still below the 700,000 pace consistent with healthy markets, they have risen 38 percent in the past 12 months. That's the biggest annual gain since January 1992.

Home sales and prices have climbed since early last year, buoyed by solid hiring and low mortgage rates. Housing has helped drive economic growth this year at a time when other parts of the economy have languished, such as manufacturing and business investment.

New-home sales make up only a small part of the market but have a large impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three new jobs and generates about $90,000 in tax revenue, according to data from the National Association of Home Builders.