New-home prices make a record jump, but sales slip

LOS ANGELES — The median price of new single-family homes sold soared 11.2 percent in August from July, a new record, according to government data.

The gauge hit $256,900 last month, the highest level in more than five years. Its year-over-year surge of 17 percent was the biggest in eight years, according to the Commerce Department.

Homebuyers picked up more properties that were higher-priced; less-expensive homes had a more lackluster month. Sales ticked up in every region across the country except the South.

But total sales dipped slightly, down 0.3 percent from July to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 373,000. Economists consider a rate of 700,000 to be healthy.

Still, sales last month advanced 27.7 percent from the same month last year.

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