New home sales nationwide fell in May to almost a third below the sales numbers from a year ago, according to Commerce Department figures released today. Home sales fell 0.6 percent in May to an annual rate of 342,000, down from 344,000 in April. Economists had expected new home sales to increase in May to 360,000. The home sales figure for May was 32.8 percent lower than the 509,000 annual sales projected in May 2008. In contrast, existing home sales rose 2.4 percent in May, the National Association of Realtors reported earlier this week.