New home sales rose in May despite higher mortgage rates

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New home sales jumped unexpectedly in May, according to data released Friday by the Census Bureau, defying a spike in mortgage rates and falling consumer sentiment to recover from an April downturn.

Sales of new homes rose 10.7 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 696,000 – the total number of homes that would have been sold over a 12-month period at the pace set last month. Economists expected sales to decline in May after dropping 16 percentĀ in April.

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