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Sales of new homes surged 4.8% in August

Ken Sweet
Associated Press

New York – The market for newly constructed homes in the U.S. continued its upward climb in August, despite the ongoing pandemic and lingering worries about the future of the U.S. economy.

The Commerce Department said sales new homes rose by a very strong 4.8% in August to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.01 million units. That’s on top of the massive jump in new home sales that happened in July, climbing that month by 13.9%.

In this April 1, 2020 photo, a "For Sale" sign stands in front of a home that is in the process of being sold in Monroe, Wash., outside of Seattle.

The gains reported Thursday by the The Commerce Department follow steep declines in March and April when COVID-19 infections spread in the U.S. The pace picked back up in the summer, driving home prices in many places to record highs. Record low mortgage rates have been a major driver of the sales, as well as pent up demand from earlier in the year during the lock downs.

New home sales are now up 43.2% from this point last year.

The median price of a new home sold was $312,800, according to the Commerce Department.