April new home sales surged to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000, the highest level in more than eight years, according to a joint release of New Residential Sales data by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Tuesday morning. This was a 16.6% jump from the upwardly revised March rate of 531,000, and was 23.8% above April 2015, when the estimate was 500,000.

Home shoppers in the South was, as usual, the most active in April, as more than 56.9%, or 352,000, of the total sales were made in this region. New residential sales in the Northeast posted the largest month-over-month growth (52.8%) among all regions, followed by the West (18.8%), and the South (15.8%). The Midwest region was the lone region to post a drop in sales, down 4.8%. Year-over-year, the Northeast posted an astounding 323.1% increase from an unusually depressed April, 2015.

In April, the median sales price for new homes rose to $321,100, up 7.8% from the price in March. Supply was at 3.9 months at the end of April based on the current sales pace.

New homes priced between $200,000 and $299,999 were by far the most popular segment in the market, as 26%, or 16,000, of the total homes closed in April fell in that price range. Close behind were the 15,000 home sales between $300,000 and $399,999, accounting for a quarter of total sales. At the same time, sales for homes over $750,000 also saw a big bump from the past 12 months, once again indicating a strong progress in the high-end home market.

As shown in the interactive graphic above, there has been a shift of focus from homes on the two extremes to medium-priced new homes. From 2003 to 2006, the $300,000-399,000 range has seen sales climb by over 50% in the month of April. In the mean time, however, homes under $199,999 posted a decline of 50%, a reflection of the lack of builder activity in this segment.

Read the full release from the Census Bureau here >>

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