New home sales stronger than expected

New home sales fell in June, the government said Friday, but the annual rate was stronger than economists expected.

The Census Bureau reported Friday that June sales of new single-family homes came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000, down 0.6% from May’s revised reading of 533,000. That revision was significant; the original May reading was 512,000. The June figure was much higher than the economists’ consensus forecast of 505,000, as compiled by

Sales have declined 33.2% from the year-earlier rate of 793,000, the government said. The median sales price of new houses sold in June 2008 was $230,900. The average sale price was $298,600. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale at the end of June was 426,000, which represented a 10-month supply of housing inventory at the current sales rate.

From Real Trends

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