New home sales rose 4.9% in April after a 12% rebound in March despite rising mortgage rates and the perception of a slowdown in the housing market.The U.S. Census Bureau reported new single-family home sales increased from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.14 million in March to 1.2 million in April. Compared to April 2005, sales are down 5.7%. National Association of Home Builders economist Michael Carliner said he was "a little surprised" by the increase in sales. "Everything we see suggests, there is a slowdown," he said. NAHB is forecasting that new home sales will decline 12% in 2006 from last year's record of 1.28 million units.

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