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New Home Sales Fall 11.6%, Biggest Decline in 2 Years

Associated Press

Sales of new homes plunged 11.6% in May, the biggest decline in more than two years, the government reported today.

The Commerce Department said that new single-family homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 764,000 units in May, down from an April rate of 864,000 units.

It was the second decline in a row. Sales in April had fallen 5.7% following a giant 23.6% increase in March.

The 11.6% drop in sales was the biggest decline since a 13% plunge in January, 1984.

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Even with the weakness in the past two months, actual sales in the first five months of the year totaled 356,000 units, 20.7% ahead of the number of sales in the same period last year.

The average price of a new home rose 3.8% in May to stand at $116,100.

The sales decline affected all parts of the country. The largest drop was a 22.5% decline in the West.


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