Sales of new single-family houses in the United States fell sharply in July, a troubling sign for the housing market, the U.S. Commerce Department said Friday.
Sales plunged 13.4 percent from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 394,000 units, the lowest level since October 2012. June's number was revised down to 455,000 unites.
Meanwhile, the median sales price of new houses sold in July was 257,200 U.S. dollars, up 8.3 percent from a year ago.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 171,000 units, which represented a supply of 5.2 months at the current sales rate.
The U.S. housing market has shown further signs of strength in recent months. Economists say new home sales, though accounting for a smaller share than existing home sales in the market, have an outsized impact on jobs and personal consumption. Some expect that rising mortgage rates may pull down new home sales.