New-Home Sales Plunge 9.4 Percent to 7-month Low

New U.S. single-family home sales unexpectedly fell in July, dropping to their lowest level in seven months, which could raise concerns of a slowdown in the housing market recovery.

The Commerce Department said on Wednesday new-home sales tumbled 9.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 units last month, the lowest level since December 2016. The percentage drop was the largest since August 2016.

The percentage drop was the largest since August 2016 and confounded economists’ expectations for a 0.3 percent gain.

June’s sales pace was revised up to 630,000 units from the previously reported 610,000 units. Home sales in May also were not as weak as previously reported, taking some of the sting from July’s report.

New home sales, which account for 9.4 percent of overall housing sales, are volatile month-to-month and are drawn from building permits. Still, sales declined 8.9 percent on a year-on-year basis.

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