Sales of new homes fell nearly 8% in May

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Sales of new U.S. homes slumped 7.8% in May, as sales plunged in the pricier Northeastern and Western markets.

   The Commerce Department says that new homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 626,000 in May, down from 679,000 in April. During the first five months of the year, purchases of new homes have fallen 3.7% compared to the same period in 2018.

   Lower mortgage rates and a healthy job market have yet to unleash more home-buying. Sales of new homes plummeted 35.9% in the West and 17.6% in the Northeast. New-home sales rose 4.9% in the South and 6.3% in the Midwest, which are generally more affordable markets.

   The median sales price of a new home fell 2.7% from a year ago to $308,000.
 

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