Sales of new single-family homes rose 7.6 percent in May to reach the highest level in more than two years, according to a report today from the U.S. Commerce Department. Purchases of newly built homes climbed to an annual rate of 369,000 last month from 343,000. The April figures were unchanged. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected new-home sales to rise to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 348,000 in May. Sales are 19.8 percent higher compared with one year ago. Sales rose 36.7 percent in the Northeast and 12.7 percent in the South. Sales dropped 10.6 percent in the Midwest and 3.5 percent in the West.