A whopping 34,000 of the 61,000 new U.S. homes sold in April went for at least $300,000, according to data unadjusted for seasonal swings. That was up from 23,000 a month earlier and the most since 2006. While a pickup in the West may help explain some of the advance, sales of higher-priced properties have been in an uptrend since early 2012 as builders face higher development costs and lenders tightened loan standards.

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