US new home sales rise 7% in June after 2 months of decline
In this June 13, 2019, photo construction continues on a new home in Mechanicsville, Va. On Wednesday, July 24, the Commerce Department reports on sales of new homes in June. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. new home sales rose at a modest pace in June but remain below sales levels earlier this year, suggesting low mortgage rates and a healthy job market are having a limited impact.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new home sales increased 7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 646,000. That is up from 604,000 in May but below April’s figure of 658,000.

Through the first half of the year, purchases of new homes have increased just 2.2% compared with the same period last year.

The small increase, along with a drop in existing home sales in June, suggests the housing market is still struggling to accelerate after slowing sharply last year. Rising home prices are outpacing wage growth and leaving many would-be buyers on the sidelines.


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