US homebuilding stocks, led by Lennar Corp. and Standard Pacific Corp., posted the biggest weekly gain since July as two reports showed sales are recovering from the depths of the housing-market collapse.

New home sales increased 27% in March from the previous month to an annual pace of 411,000, the largest rise since recordkeeping began in 1963, the Commerce Department said today. Sales of existing homes jumped 6.7% to 5.35m in March, the first increase in four months, the National Association of Realtors reported yesterday.

Buyers are rushing to take advantage of tax credits of as much as $8,000 by signing contracts before May 1 and completing the deals by June 30., Wall Street Journal