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US new-home sales fall in July

A home is offered for sale by Remax Realty in a housing development on December 4, 2012 in South Barrington, Illinois
A home is offered for sale by Remax Realty in a housing development on December 4, 2012 in South Barrington, Illinois. Sales of new homes in the United States fell in July and June's strong data was revised much lower, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Sales of new homes in the United States fell in July and June's strong data was revised much lower, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Dimming the picture somewhat of a recovering housing market, the department's newest data put July new-home sales at an annual pace of 394,000, down from June's 455,000.

June's number was originally reported at a five-year high pace of 497,000, which fueled confidence that home-buyers were shrugging off higher mortgage rates.

The lower numbers Friday suggested however that the rise in rates might be impacting the market. The number of homes on the market jumped to a 5.2 months' supply at the current sales pace, compared to a 4.3-4.5 ratio over the previous quarter.

But July sales were still up 6.8 percent from a year earlier.

Sales fell in all regions, though the Northeast appeared relatively stronger. The average sales price rose, to $322,700, compared to the 2012 full-year average of $292,200.

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