Purchases of new homes in the United States rose in April for the second time in three months as lower prices and cheaper financing stabilized demand.

Sales increased 0.3%, to an annual pace of 352,000, lower than forecast, after a 351,000 rate in March, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The median sales price fell 15% from April 2008, while the number of homes on the market fell to the lowest level in almost eight years.

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