Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 1.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 417,000 units in March, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Regionally, new-home sales activity was mixed in March, with the Northeast and South posting double-digit increases and the Midwest and West posting corresponding declines, the National Association of Home Builders said in a release.

Sales gained 20.6 percent in the Northeast and 19.4 percent in the South, while falling 12.1 percent in the Midwest and 20.9 percent in the West. The inventory of new homes for sale held virtually unchanged at just 151,000 units in March, which amounts to a 4.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

On Monday, the National Association of Realtors said the sale of previously owned homes dropped 0.6 from February to March, but was up 10.3 percent from the previous year.