WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sales of newly constructed
single-family homes rose 3.3 percent in April to a 526,000
annual rate but they were down 42 percent from a year ago,
which was the largest year-over-year drop in nearly 27 years,
government data on Tuesday showed.

The Commerce Department estimate showed the first increase
in new home sales since October, but the increase came after a
big downward revision to the prior month.

Economists polled by Reuters were expecting new home sales
to slip to a rate of 520,000. The department revised down its
March estimate to a rate of 509,000 from 526,000, or a 11.0
percent decrease from a first-reported 8.5 percent decline.

The inventory of homes available for sale in April fell 2.4
percent to 456,000, which was the 12th straight monthly
decline. The April sales pace put the supply of homes available
for sale at 10.6 month's worth.

(Reporting by Joanne Morrison; Editing by Neil Stempleman)

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