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New-homes sales rise 1.5 percent in March, fastest clip since 2008

WASHINGTON — U.S. sales of new homes rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000. The increase added to evidence of a sustained housing recovery at the start of the spring buying season.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that sales of new homes increased 1.5 percent.

Sales remain below the 700,000 pace considered healthy by most economists. But the pace has increased 18.5 percent from 352,000 a year ago.

The March sales gain came from a 20.6 percent increase in the Northeast and a 19.4 percent rise in the South. Sales fell 20.9 percent in the West, where problems of supply, including in Las Vegas and elsewhere in Nevada have hampered home buying.

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