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August new homes sales down 2.3% to 295,000

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Sales of new single-family homes dropped another 2.3% in August for the fourth-straight monthly decline and to the lowest level since February. The Commerce Department said the seasonally adjusted rate of 295,000 units for August was down from 302,000 for July, which was revised upward by 4,000. The rate of August new home sales was 6.1% higher than the 278,000 a year earlier. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale at the end of August was 162,000, representing a 6.6-month supply, which is flat with the prior month and at the lowest level in decades. A healthy housing market usually carries a six-month supply of single-family homes. Briefing.com expected new home sales at an annual rate of 290,000 for August, and a survey produced a consensus analysts' estimate of 293,000. The median sales price of new homes sold in August was $209,100, down about 5% from $220,000 in July. The average price of $246,000 in August was 8.7% lower than the prior month and at the lowest level since early 2009. Write to Jason Philyaw. Follow him on Twitter: @jrphilyaw

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