Sales for the month came to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000, which is 18.5 percent higher than the March 2012 estimate of 352,000.
The Commerce Department said the average price for a new home sold in March was $279,900.
At the end of March, there was an estimated 153,000 new homes on the market, representing a 4.4 month supply at the current rate of sales.
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