• US new home sales sink in July


    WASHINGTON: New US home sales hit a 10-month low in July as prices forged higher, pointing to a possible slowdown in demand, official figures showed Wednesday.

    The sharp monthly drop in sales reversed two months in a row of gains and was largely driven by a record sales plunge in the western United States, according to the Commerce Department.

    Analysts in recent months have said the market is exceedingly tight, with supply failing to keep pace with demand and pricing new would-be homeowners out of the market.

    Sales of new homes fell 9.4 percent for the month to an annual rate of 571,000 but the decrease appeared larger after June’s numbers were revised upward by more than three percent.

    Analysts had been expecting a decrease of only 2.3 percent.

    July’s numbers are also subject to revision but year-over-year the result was still 8.9 percent below July of 2016.

    Median housing prices moved up 0.7 percent to $313,700 but remained below December’s all-time high of $332,700.

    Sales in the western United States plunged 21.3 percent to an annual rate of 144,000 units, the biggest monthly drop in percentage since February of 2014.

    At the current sales rate, the existing housing stock amounted to a supply of 5.8 months, up from 5.2 months in June — the first increase in supply in three months.



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