The numbers suggest that the reopening of major parts of the country gave a boost to the housing market.
"The labor shortage continues to be the number one issue for homebuilders," one economist said.
Home sales have been on the rise, and so have home prices. But home builders are not ramping up production to even approach pre-recession levels.
New home sales have risen moderately since 2011 as builders focus on higher-priced homes for higher-income buyers.