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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Sales of newly constructed single-family homes spiked 11% in June to an annualized rate of 384,000 homes, according to a report released Monday.
The gain over May was much greater than expected. A consensus of housing industry analysts had forecast seasonally adjusted sales of 352,000, according to Breifing.com.
However, sales are still 21% below the levels of a year ago, when new homes sold in June at an annualized rate of 488,000, according to the report released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Four years ago, during the height of the housing boom, the sales rate for June was 1,374,000, nearly three-and-a-half times higher than last month.
Still, the report was very positive, according to Peter Morici, an economics professor at the University of Maryland who had forecast June sales to be at the 350,000 level. "That is really good news. Considering what's going on in existing home sales, with all the foreclosure activity sending down home prices, for new homes to jump like that is a good indicator that the economy is bottoming out."
Rafts are a great way to spend the afternoon, floating along on a lazy day. And, the inexpensive ones are also excellent for towing gear up a shallow stream. Many of them double as towables for fun behind the boat with no work. A good one can be used for whitewater adventures or small rapids. Some of these are of top-quality design for whitewater expeditions, and are even self-bailing.
A life raft is essential if you're going offshore, especially if you run into an unexpected heavy squall. These life rafts fit anywhere from 4-8 people, and some include shelter from the elements. They're bright colored, and easy to spot, plus they're well equipped with flares, flashlights and more.