Sales of new homes rose 2.1% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.298 million units, the second-best reading ever for the industry.According to figures compiled by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales rose 4.4% compared with those of May 2004. (The 2.1% gain compares May sales to April's.) The sales figure is yet another sign that the housing market continues to be red hot. However, there could be storm clouds on the horizon. New homes sold in the Northeast fell 24.5% during the month, but the decline was offset by a 22.9% gain in the Midwest. Nationwide, the median sale price of a new home was $217,000 in May.

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