HOT SELLERS: Sales of new homes rose to a seasonally adjusted rate of 454,000 in April, the second highest level since the summer of 2008. That was up 2.3 percent from March and just slightly below January's 458,000.
PRICES RISING: The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the median price for a new home hit a record $271,600, the highest level on government records going back to 1993. The April median price was 8.3 percent higher than in March.
REGIONAL BREAKDOWN: The strength in April was led by a 10.8 percent rise in sales in the West. Sales in the South were up 3 percent but sales fell 16.7 percent in the Northeast and were down 4.8 percent in the Midwest.