New U.S. home sales hit record low in July

New U.S. single-family home sales declined to their lowest-ever recorded rate in July, according to a report released today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The annual rate of 276,000 houses last month was 12.4 percent below June’s rate and 32.4 percent below the rate during July 2009, despite record-low mortgage rates and prices near their bottom. The report comes on the heels of less-than-optimistic numbers for existing home sales released yesterday by the National Association of Realtors, which showed that sales in that sector declined in July to their lowest level since the 1990s. July was the first month following the expiration of the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers, which may have contributed to the sagging sales numbers. TRD

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