New single-family homes in the U.S. sold at an annual rate of 546,000 in May, hitting the fastest pace since February 2008, with growth in two of four regions, the government reported Tuesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a sales rate of 525,000 in May, compared with a prior estimate of 517,000 for April. On Tuesday the U.S. Commerce Department revised April's rate to 534,000. May's pace was up 19.5% from a year earlier, signaling a healthy pick up, though recent sales rates remain below long-term averages. The median price of new homes, meanwhile, fell 1% to $282,800 compared with May 2014. The supply of new homes was 4.5 months at May's sales pace, down from 4.6 months in April. Economists caution over reading too much into a single monthly report. A confidence interval of plus-or-minus 16.7% for May's growth of 2.2% shows that the government isn't sure whether the sales pace rose or fell last month.
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