New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development show sales of new homes rose 4 percent in March and were 8.8 percent above year-before levels. The improvement is a good sign for the spring market and evidence that recent gains in building permits and housing starts are beginning to show results – as those homes are now being finished and put up for sale. It’s also good news for inventory, as growing demand for new homes will help relieve pressure on prices as builders add stock to the market. Not to mention, with an increasing number of hopeful home buyers looking to purchase a house this spring, added inventory means more choices. Still, prospective buyers should know that the new homes that are being built tend to be higher priced. In fact, the median sales price of new homes sold in March was $337,200; the average price was $369,900. That means, though added new home inventory will be good for the overall market, first-time buyers looking for entry-level, affordable homes may still face challenges. More here.