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.
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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.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 23, 2017 10:15 ET (14:15 GMT)