width=318Sales of newly built U.S. single-family homes rebounded strongly in March to touch their highest level in eight months as buyers rushed into the market to take advantage of a homebuyer tax credit, a government report showed on Friday.

The Commerce Department said sales surged 26.9 percent, the largest advance since April 1963, to a 411,000 unit annual rate, breaking a four-month slide. February new home sales were revised up to a 324,000-unit pace from 308,000 units previously.

The rise last month could also reflect a snap back from adverse weather conditions in February. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected new home sales to increase to a 330,000-unit rate.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)