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US new home sales jump 13.8% in June

Sales of new homes rose a sharp 13,8% in June, the second straight increase after two months when sales plunged as the country went into lockdown because of the coronavirus.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that the June gain pushed sales of new homes to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 776,000. The increase follows a 19.4% jump in May.

A separate report Wednesday showed sales of previously owned homes surged 20.7% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million. Even with the gain, which followed three months of declines, new home sales remain toughly 20% below pre-pandemic levels.

Model homes and for sale signs line the streets as construction continues at a housing plan in Zelienople, Pa., Wednesday, March 18, 2020. U.S. new home sales fell 4.4% in February with bigger declines expected in coming months as the coronavirus puts a major crimp on home sales. (AP PhotoKeith Srakocic)

The median price of a new home sold in June increased to $329,200, up 5.6% from a year ago.