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U.S. New Home Sales Pull Back Sharply From Upwardly Revised Level

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Following a much bigger than previously estimated spike in U.S. new home sales in the previous month, the Commerce Department released a report on Friday showing a steep drop in new home sales in the month of July.

The report said new home sales plunged by 12.8 percent to an annual rate of 635,000 in July after soaring by 20.9 percent to a sharply upwardly revised rate of 728,000 in June.

Economists had expected new home sales to come in virtually unchanged from the 646,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Despite the monthly decrease, the Commerce Department noted new home sales in July were up by 4.3 percent compared to a rate of 609,000 in the same month a year ago.

The upwardly revised rate of new home sales in June represented a nearly eleven-year high, with sales at their highest level since hitting 778,000 in July of 2008.

The pullback in new home sales came as sales plummeted by 16.1 percent in the South, 14.2 percent in the West and 11.1 percent in the Midwest.

On the other hand, the report said new home sales in the Northeast surged up by 50.0 percent to an annual rate of 39,000.

The Commerce Department also said the median sales price of new houses sold in July was $312,800, up 2.2 percent from $306,000 in June but down 4.5 percent from $327,500 in the July of 2018.

The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 337,000, representing 6.4 months of supply at the current sales rate.

On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors released a separate report showing a notable rebound in existing home sales in the month of July.

NAR said existing home sales jumped by 2.5 percent to an annual rate of 5.42 million in July after slumping by 1.3 percent to a revised rate of 5.29 million in June.

Economists had expected existing home sales to surge up by 2.3 percent to a rate of 5.39 million from the 5.27 million originally reported for the previous month.

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