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US new home sales slid 12.8% in July

Sales of new U.S. homes fell a sharp 12.8% in July as higher prices and limited inventory sidelined would-be buyers.

The Commerce Department says that new homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 635,000 units, down from a revised June rate of 728,000. So far this year, sales have risen just 4.1%.

A shortage of available homes, worsened by a construction slowdown, has pushed up prices and made purchases less affordable for Americans. Land and labor shortages continue to slow down builders, prolonging the housing shortage.

FILE - In this June 19, 2019, file photo workers lay down a roof on a new house in a Brandon, Miss., neighborhood. On Friday, Aug. 23, the Commerce Department reports on sales of new homes in July. (AP PhotoRogelio V. Solis, File)

As a consequence, even lower borrowing costs have so far failed to induce more sales.

The median sales price fell to $312,800. That is down 4.5% from a year ago, but marks the highest level since April.