WASHINGTON - Sales of new single-family houses rose 3.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 343,000 in April, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

The upwardly revised March rate of 332,000 was originally reported as 328,000.

The April rate was above the 335,000 median annual rate projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and was 9.9% above the April 2011 level of 312,000.

New home sales rose 28.2% in the Midwest, 27.5% in the West, and 7.7% in the Northeast. Those gains were partially offset by a decline of 10.6% in the South.

The median sales price of new houses sold in April inched up 0.7% to $235,700 from the revised March price of $234,000. The average sales price, however, fell 1.1% to $282,600.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of March was 146,000, a 1.4% advance from the record low March figure of 144,000. That represents a supply of 5.1 months at the current sales rate.

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