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For July, 2012

US new-home sales fall to 350K, 5-month low

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Americans bought fewer new homes in June after sales jumped to a two-year high in May. The steep decline suggests a weaker job market and slower growth could make the housing recovery uneven.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that sales of new homes fell 8.4 percent last month from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 350,000. That’s the biggest drop since February 2011.

The median price of a new home, however, fell 1.9 percent in June from May to $232,600.

Nationwide, sales in May and April were revised much higher. June’s sales pace is 15.1 percent higher than the same month last year.

Sales of previously occupied homes fell in June to their lowest level since October. But sales were up 4.5 percent from a year ago, evidence that a modest recovery is still under way.

US rate on 30-year mortgage: 3.49 pct., new record

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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018777669_apusmortgagerates.html

The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell again, this time dropping below 3.50 percent for the first time on records dating back 60 years.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan declined to 3.49 percent. That’s down from 3.53 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage,  dipped to 2.80 percent. That’s below last week’s previous record of 2.83 percent.

The average rate on five-year adjustable rate mortgages jumped to 2.74 percent from 2.69 percent last week.

Rates History

US homebuilder confidence vaults to 5-year high

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http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018705799_apusbuildersentiment.html

Confidence among U.S. homebuilders is swelling to a five-year high, with many now anticipating that sales of new homes will strengthen this year even as signs point to a slowing economy.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index surged six points this month to 35, the highest reading since March 2007.

The index, which is based on responses from 318 builders, rose from a reading of 29 last month, marking the largest one-month gain in nearly a decade.

Americans bought new homes in May at the fastest pace since April 2010, according to the Commerce Department.

In July, builders say they observed the best sales levels since February 2007. Their outlook for sales in the next six months also brightened to the highest level since March 2007. Turnout by prospective buyers also returned to a level not seen in five years.

Cheaper mortgages and lower home prices in many markets have made home buying more attractive. Many economists believe that housing construction could contribute to overall economic growth this year for the first time since 2005.

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