US New Home Sales Continue to Slide

Posted September 26th, 2011 at 12:19 pm (UTC-5)
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The number of new homes sold in the United States fell to a six-month low in August, and sales are on pace for the worst year since the government began keeping records a half century ago.

The government said Monday that new home sales dropped for the fourth straight month, down 2.3 percent, to an annual pace of 295,000. That is far below what economists consider to be a healthy rate of about 750,000 sales each year.

The housing market is the weakest link in the sluggish U.S. economy. It has been plagued by millions of foreclosures on homes, as homeowners who have lost their jobs have been unable to make their payments on housing loans.

Even with depressed prices on the homes taken over by lenders and record-low interest rates on loans, sales have been slow for both new and existing homes as U.S. consumers have cut back new spending to pay off their exisitng debts. Lenders have also imposed more stringent borrowing standards, leaving some buyers unable to qualify for new loans.