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Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rose more than expected in April and the stock of houses on the market hit a 3-1/2 year high, further signs the housing recovery may be close to picking up.The Commerce Department said Friday sales increased 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 units, ending two straight months of declines.Economists had forecast new home sales at a 425,000-unit pace last month.At April's sales pace it would take 5.3 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, down from 5.6 months in March. With inventories improving, the median price of a new home last month fell 1.3 percent to $275,800 from April last year.
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