WASHINGTON — Sales of newly built single-family homes dipped slightly in June from an upwardly revised pace in the previous month, the U.S. Commerce Department reported. A 0.6% decline brought the seasonally adjusted annual rate of new-home sales to 530,000 units for June.

“Today’s weak sales numbers once again demonstrate the critical need for the housing and economic stimulus bill that’s now nearing final passage in the Senate,” said National Association of Home Builders President Sandy Dunn, a homebuilder from Point Pleasant, WV. “Once signed by the President, this legislation will boost confidence in the housing finance system, bring some stability to the overall market and stimulate sales as first-time buyers start taking advantage of a tax credit of up to $7,500.”

“While the housing downswing continues, with new-home sales down by a third from year-ago levels and builder confidence at a record low this month, today’s report shows that builders are making some progress on reducing the inventory of unsold units,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders.

The Commerce Department’s report indicated that the inventory of new homes for sale eased down 5.3% in June to 426,000 units. This represented a 10-month supply at the current sales pace, compared to a 10.4-month supply in May.

Regionally, sales activity was mixed in June, with the Northeast and Midwest posting gains of 5.3% and 2.5%, respectively, and the South and West posting declines of 2% and 0.9%, respectively. Every region registered declines in the number of new homes for sale.


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