U.S. New Home Sales Dropped in July

U.S. new-home sales fell sharply in July and inventory levels jumped.

Purchases of newly built single-family homes--a narrow slice of all U.S. home sales--decreased 9.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 in July, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected an annual pace of 615,000 in July.

Over the broader term, the market for single-family homes has strengthened. So far this year, sales have risen 9.2% compared to the same period a year earlier.

At the current sales pace, there was a 5.8-month supply of new homes on the market at the end of July, the highest level since September 2015.

The median sale price for a new home sold in July was $313,700.

The National Association of Realtors reports sales of existing homes, which represent the bulk of the U.S. market, on Thursday. Economists expect existing-home sales increased last month after slipping in June.

A copy of the full report is available at: http://www.census.gov/construction/nrs.

Write to Sarah Chaney at sarah.chaney@wsj.com and Josh Mitchell at joshua.mitchell@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 23, 2017 10:15 ET (14:15 GMT)