Sales of new single-family homes jumped 16.2 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 981,000 units, according to a recent U.S. Commerce Department report. According to the National Association of Home Builders, a spate of builder discounts and “substantial non-price sales incentives” helped fuel the increase in sales. Additionally, the NAHB reported that buyers are seeking out lower-priced homes.

“We’re viewing the large jump in new-home sales for April with a lot of caution, in view of the large month-to-month volatility historically displayed by these statistics,” noted NAHB chief economist David Seiders. “In addition, the April bulge may very well have reflected favorable weather swings, particularly in the South region.”

Despite the jump in sales, the pace remained more than 10 percent below last April’s figures. Seiders noted that the NAHB is predicting “a gradual recovery process going forward, at least on a quarterly basis.”

The inventory of new homes for sale edged down in April to 538,000 units, equivalent to a 6.5 months’ supply and down from 8.1 months in March. Completed homes for sale were 33 percent of the inventory, while units still under construction represented 51 percent of the inventory. Units for-sale that were permitted but not yet started represented almost 16 percent of the inventory level. The median length of time that completed homes were on the market was 6.0 months in April.

Regionally, new-home sales were up 27.8 percent in the South, 3.8 percent in the Northeast and 8.5 percent in the West. Sales were down 4.0 percent in the Midwest.