May 23, 2014 10:05 AM, EDT
Sales of New Homes Increased 6.4% in April to 433,000 Pace
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Sales of new homes rose 6.4% in April to a 433,000 annualized pace from a revised 407,000 in March that was larger than initially estimated, the Commerce Department reported.

The median forecast of 75 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for the rate to accelerate to 425,000. April’s gain, the largest since October, reflected a surge in Midwest sales.

“We definitely are seeing a rebound in activity,” said Anika Khan, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities. “We are in the middle of the home-buying season and should start to see a bit more pickup with more traditional buyers coming into the market” even as first-time home buyers remain on the sidelines.

Estimates for April home sales ranged from 395,000 to 460,000 after an estimated 384,000 pace a month earlier.

The increase in demand last month was led by a 47.4 % surge in the Midwest to an 84,000 annual rate, the fastest since November 2007. Purchases also climbed 3.1 % the South. They fell in the Northeast and were unchanged in the West.