Sales of new homes probably increased in March for the first time in three months, indicating the market is struggling to stabilize, economists said before a report today.

Purchases rose to a 318,000 annual rate, up 1.6 percent from 313,000 in February, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 77 economists. Other reports may show consumer confidence dropped for a second month and home prices decreased at a slower pace

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