Sales of new U.S. homes rose to the fastest pace in five years in June, the government reported Wednesday, indicating the housing-market recovery is strengthening.
The Commerce Department said new-home sales jumped 8.3 percent last month to an annual pace of 479,000 units, up from 459,000 in May.
While sales are still well below the 700,000-unit pace consistent with healthy markets, they have risen 38 percent in the past 12 months, the biggest annual gain since January 1992.
Home sales and prices have climbed since early 2012, helped by solid hiring and low mortgage rates. Housing has helped drive economic growth this year at a time when other parts of the economy-notably manufacturing and business investment-have weakened.
New-home sales comprise only a small part of the housing 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.