(WASHINGTON) -- The number of new homes sold in June brought sales to the highest level since May 2008. Sales of new single-family houses last month increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000, the most in five years, a report from the U.S. Commerce Department said. David Crowe, chief economist of the National Association of Home Builders, says 900,000 home sales a month would be consistent with a "healthy" market, but the surge is encouraging.
“We're still a long way off from anything you might call normal,” he added.
“It's indicative of home buyers feeling more confident about their purchases,” Crowe said. “House prices have been increasing, interest rates -- while they went up a little -- are still a very good bargain, and so this waiting period is finally over for a larger number of people.”
The price of new homes sold has also moved up compared to a year ago. The median price is now $249,700 compared to $232,600 a year ago.
New homes make up a small chunk of the housing market but have an important ripple effect on the economy.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio