WASHINGTON -- Housing sales for new homes fell 8.1 percent in June, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Cooling Housing Market to Impact Lumber Sales

The new report shows sales of new single-family homes dropped to a low of 406,000 units for June. New-home sales were 11.5 percent below the June 2013 estimate of 459,000. Sales of new single-family homes fell 4.9 percent through the first six months of the year compared with the same period of 2013, according to Commerce Department data

The decline in sales was not limited to any particular region of the United States. According to the report sales fell 20 percent in the Northeast, 9.5 percent in the South, 8.2 percent in the Midwest and 1.9 percent in the West.

The inventory of new homes for sale held steady at 197,000 units in June, a 5.8-month supply at the current sales pace, according to the report.

Home construction was a major employment and growth engine before the recession, accounting for approximately 5 percent of the U.S. economy, according to the National Association of Home Builders. That figure has fallen to about 3 percent in recent years due to the economic downturn.

Additionally sales numbers for May were revised downward to 442,000 units, the report said. Initially the Census Bureau reported stronger numbers for May,

In addition to a slowing of sales of new homes, remodeling of older homes is also expected to see a downturn. A new report says remodeling will peak during the second half of 2014, then decline in 2015. The Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) report was released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The LIRA projects annual gains in home improvement spending of 9.9 percent with annual growth slowing to 7 percent in the first quarter of 2015.


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