Demand for new U.S. homes rose more than forecast in April, indicating residential real estate may contribute to economic growth for the first time in seven years.

Purchases rose to a 343,000 annual rate, up 3.3 percent from a revised 332,000 in March, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 72 economists was 335,000. Data yesterday showed April sales of previously owned homes rose in every region.

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