Lower prices and the federal tax credit for buyers fuel a 9.4 percent rise in home sales.
But unsold homes remain a big challenge for the US economy.
As Americans file their taxes Wednesday, many are getting a financial boost from recent tax changes that give consumers money to pay debts and buy cars.
Spending in March slowed 1.1 percent, dashing hopes that a more confident US public would loosen household purse strings.
But automakers are encouraged by a recent increase in showroom traffic.