Homebuilders up as report shows February sales of US new homes rose to fastest pace in 7 years

Homebuilders are getting a lift Tuesday following a report that showed that U.S. new home sales rose to their fastest pace in seven years in February.

The Commerce Department said that new home sales climbed 7.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 539,000. That's the best performance since February 2008.

The strong increase came from the South and, surprisingly, the Northeast, which was hammered by snowstorms last month. Buying fell in the Midwest and West last month. The median sales price rose 2.6 percent since February 2014 to $275,500.

Here's how some homebuilders are faring in afternoon trading:

PulteGroup Inc. added 59 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $22.13.

Toll Brothers Inc. rose 60 cents to $38.81.

D.R. Horton Inc. gained 55 cents, or 2 percent, to $27.67.

K.B. Home climbed 35 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $15.34.

Lennar Corp. added 94 cents to $50.48.

Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. rose 9 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $3.55.