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REAL ESTATE

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

New Home Sales Record Surprising March Advance: Sales of new homes rose 4.8% in March, the second straight advance, as the Midwest and West escaped a blizzard-induced chill that froze activity in the Northeast and South. Sales of single-family houses totaled 637,000 at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up from a revised 608,000 in February, the Departments of Commerce and Housing and Urban Development reported. “It’s a pleasant surprise,” said David F. Seiders of the National Assn. of Home Builders, who, like most other economists, had expected the storm to cause overall sales to skid.


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