New home sales surge in July, highest since 2006

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales gaining 1.3%

WASHINGTON - Sales of new U.S. single-family homes increased to their highest level in more than 13-1/2 years in July as the housing market continues to show strong immunity to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has plunged the economy into recession and thrown tens of millions of Americans out of work.

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HOME PRICES CLIMB 3.5% IN JUNE, LED BY PHOENIX, SEATTLE AND TAMPA

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday new home sales rose 13.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 901,000 units last month, the highest level since December 2006.

US HOME SALES SPIKE UNPRECEDENTED 24.7% JULY

New home sales are counted at the signing of a contract, making them a leading housing market indicator. June's sales pace was revised upward to 791,000 units from the previously reported 776,000 units.

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Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales, which account for about 14% of housing market sales, gaining 1.3% to a rate of 785,000-units.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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