US new home sales plunge 6.6 percent in June

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2007 (AFP) – Sales of new homes in the United States dropped 6.6 percent in June to an annualized 834,000 units, in a further sign of the persistent slump in the housing sector, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The June number of new home sales, the lowest since March, was significantly below the Wall Street analyst forecast of 900,000 units.

New home sales in May were revised lower, to 893,000 units, from an initial estimate of 915,000. Sales in March totaled 830,000 units, the weakest level since September 1999.

Over the past year, sales of new homes plunged 22.3 percent in June, the sharpest 12-month decline since March.

The median price of a new home sold fell to 237,900 dollars, a fall of 2.2 percent from June 2006.

The decline in prices appeared set to linger due to the glut of homes on the market.

New homes for sale held steady at 537,000 units in June, compared with the prior month. That represents a 7.8-month supply at the current sales rate.

The weak report came a day after an industry survey showed sales of existing US homes, a larger barometer of the housing market, fell much more heavily than predicted in June, to their lowest level in nearly five years.

The Na