US new home sales down
Washington: Sales of new single-family houses in the US declined sharply in June, following a strong gain in May, figures from the US commerce department showed.
Sales of new houses in June dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 350,000 units, 8.4 percent lower than the revised reading of 382,000 in May, reported Xinhua.
The new home sales were 15.1 percent above the level a year ago, but only half of the 700,000 annual rate that economists deem for a healthy market.
Meanwhile, the median sales price of new houses sold in June fell slightly to $232,600 from $237,100 in May.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of June was 144,000 units, which represents a supply of 4.9 months at the current sales rate.
Although record-low mortgage rates and lower prices have made home buying more affordable, due to persisting tight credit conditions, many people are still having difficulty qualifying for home loans. Economists worried that recent deceleration in job creation could dampen the confidence of potential home buyers.