PhotoJuly was a tough month for developers trying to sell newly-constructed homes.

The Commerce Department reports sales of new single-family houses plunged 9.4% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000, pushing sales 8.9% below the same month a year ago.

However, as the government issued its July report, it revised its June estimate of sales to 630,000 from the initially reported 610,000.

Regionally, the Midwest -- with a gain of 6.2% -- was the only area where sales rose. They were down 4.1% in the South, 21.3% in the West and 23.8% in the Northeast.

“Some pull back in new home sales this month is not surprising after strong May and June readings,” according to National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Granger MacDonald, who added that “builders must continue to manage construction costs to ensure houses remain affordable.”

Pricing and inventory

The median sales price of new houses sold last month was $313,700, up $2,100 from June and a gain of $18,700 from July 2016. The median is the point at which half the houses sold for more and half for less.

The average sales price was $371,200 a month-over-month gain of $1,200 and up $16,200 from the same month a year earlier.

The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 276,000, which translates to a supply of 5.8 months at the current sales rate, versus a supply of 5.4 months in June.

The complete report may be found on the Commerce Department website. 

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