(Updated with stock prices.)
) -- New-home sales in the U.S. jumped 9.6% in July, the fourth straight monthly increase.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday that new-home sales during the month rose to 433,000 compared with 395,000 in June. Economists were expecting 390,000 units.
Shares of homebuilders were in the green after the announcement.
jumped 3.5% to $23/10 in morning trading,
grew 3% to $13.42,
was up 2% to $18.40 and
rose 3% to $18.40.
This is the second piece of good news the sector received this week.
Home prices rose 3% in the second quarter
, their first sequential gain in three years, according to the Standard & Poor/Case Shiller's U.S. National Home Price Index.
But once again, as with existing-home prices, amid the good news there were signs that the housing sector still has a ways to go before commencing a real recovery: The median sale price in July was $210,000, 11.5% lower than last year, when houses fetched $237,300 apiece on average.
-Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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