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News > Economy
New home sales slide
August 31, 1998: 10:42 a.m. ET

Sales dip 1.6% to 886,000 in July, falling well below Wall Street forecasts
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - New home sales in the United States fell much lower than expected in July, despite low interest rates and rising wages, the Commerce Department reported Monday.
     Sales of new single-family homes fell to an annual rate of 886,000, a 1.6-percent slide from June's revised rate of 900,000. The Commerce Department originally reported a June sales rate of 935,000. July's figure was also well below Wall Street forecasts, which estimated a rate of 918,000, or a 0.7-percent fall.
     New home sales were strongest in the South, which reported a modest 1.4-percent increase to an annual rate of 432,000.
     The Midwest logged the biggest decline, falling 11.7 percent to a rate of 144,000. The Northeast and West also posted losses, with the Northeast falling 1.3 percent to a rate of 74,000 and the West dropping 0.4 percent to 236,000.
     The supply of homes for sale in July was still a relatively lean four months compared with June's 3.9-month rate, as builders have scrambled in the past year to meet current demand, thereby avoiding building up a large stock of unsold homes.
     Prices for new homes dipped slightly to an average of $174,100 from $174,200 in June.
     The benchmark 30-year Treasury bond climbed 6/32 of a point for a yield of 5.33 percent in early trading.
     The Commerce Department also adjusted May new home sales figures, reporting a rate of 890,000, down from its original figure of 901,000. Back to top

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