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Sales of new homes up 11.1% in March

Sales of new homes up 11.1% in March (by Steve Goldstein)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Sales of new homes rebounded 11.1% in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000, the Commerce Department estimated Monday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 290,000 sales rate in March. The still-bleak reading -- a decrease of 21.9% from March 2010 levels -- came as sales in the Northeast rebounded particularly strongly, which may reflect that February's worst-ever showing was in part caused by winter storms. The February data also was revised higher, to 270,000 from an initial 250,000 that the Commerce Department reported, though that is still a record low. Median sales prices rose 2.9% to $213,800.