July New Home Sales Falter Again

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The U.S. Census Bureau Monday morning released data on new single-family home sales for July. Sales fell 2.4% month-over-month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 412,000 from an upwardly revised June sales figure of 422,000.

July sales mark the second month in a row that sales have fallen. May sales came in at 442,000, and both June and July sales fell by 20,000 below the prior month. The consensus estimate for July called for sales of 430,000.

The July rate is 12.3% above the rate for July 2013. At the peak in 2005, new home sales posted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 1.4 million.

The Census Bureau also reported that the median sales price for new homes sold in July was $269,800 and the average sales price was $339,100. The median price fell $3,700 month-over-month and the average price rose by $7,700. At the end of July, the number of new homes for sale rose from a June total of 197,000 to 205,000, a supply of six months at the current sales rate.

In July, 57% of sales were of homes priced at less than $300,000, but the percentage of homes sold in the $200,000 to $299,999 price range fell from 36% in May to 30%, which helps explain the rise in the average sales price during the month. The dip in the median price is likely due to a rise in the percentage of sales priced between $150,000 and $199,999 from 15% of all sales to 20%.

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