The housing sector continues to receive positive news as the sales of New Homes rose to their second highest level since the summer of 2008 to an annual rate of 454,000 in April, up 2.3% from March. That was above the 444,000 that was recorded in March, which was revised up from 417,000. The rise to 454,000 has pushed sales up 29% since April of 2012.

Within the New Home Sales report it showed that the median price for a new home was $271,600 and that was the highest price on record going back to 1993. The positive data has been spurred on by lower home loan rates and an improving job market.

As if that wasn’t enough good news for housing, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported this morning that home prices across the nation rose by 1.3% in March from April . In addition, from March of 2012 until March of 2013, prices rose by 7.2%. A rise in home prices tends to encourage new home construction and the higher prices helps owners to sell properties more quickly to buy a new home.

The last economic data point today was a drop in Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits. The Labor Department reported that weekly initial jobless claims fell by 23,000 in the latest week to 340,000 as the job market continues to improve.