U. S. sales of newly-built homes surged 18 percent in August.
Wednesday's report from the Commerce Department says if sales continued at that pace for a year, half a million homes would get new owners.
It is the fastest rate of new-home sales since 2008, and a hopeful sign of recovery in a housing market that has seen a mix of positive and negative reports in recent months. But new home sales are about one-tenth of the housing market that is dominated by sales of previously-owned homes.
Sales in the larger market of existing homes slipped in August after several months of gains.
Economists and investors watch the housing sector closely because severe problems here were a major contributor to the most recent recession.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.