WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) - Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased more than expected in May, suggesting the housing market was on the cusp of recovery after being hammered, together with the broader economy, by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commerce Department said on Tuesday new home sales jumped 16.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 676,000 units last month. New home sales are counted at the signing of a contract, making them a leading housing market indicator.
April's sales pace was revised down to 580,000 units from the previously reported 623,000 units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 10% of housing market sales, rising 2.9% to a pace of 640,000 in May.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)