HOUSTON (Houston Business Journal) – New home sales surged 26.9 percent from February to March, according to the Department of Commerce.

 The nationwide increase, which was the largest one-month gain in five decades, was accompanied by a 23.8 percent increase in new home sales year over year.

 There were 228,000 new homes on the market at the end of March, a 6.7-month inventory at the current sales rate.

 Last month’s sales increase was credited partially to fairer weather and buyers hurrying to beat the expiration of the government’s homebuyer tax credit.