US sales of new homes slipped 1.5 percent in April


WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes fell 1.5 percent in April, as buying plunged in the West.

The Commerce Department said today new homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 662,000. So far this year, new-home sales are 8.4 percent higher than in 2017.

A solid job market and a shortage of existing homes for sale have led more people to seek newly constructed properties.

Sales tumbled 7.9 percent last month in the West and were essentially unchanged in the Midwest and South. But sales improved 11.1 percent in the Northeast.

The median sales price of a new home rose 0.4 percent from a year ago to $312,400. But the average price shot up 11.3 percent because more people bought new homes worth more than $750,000.

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