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NEW HOME SALES INCREASE 11 PERCENT IN JUNE

 WASHINGTON, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- New home sales rebounded in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 678,000, a healthy 11 percent increase from May, the Commerce Department reported today.
 "This is reassuring news and is consistent with what builders have been telling us in our surveys -- that sales are improving," said National Association of Home Builders President J. Roger Glunt. "Buying conditions are excellent right now; mortgage rates are low, and homes are more affordable than they've been in years."
 The June improvement comes after a disappointing May when sales declined substantially. But despite the low sales figure in May, the second quarter turned in a solid performance with an annual average of 662,000 new home sales.
 "We have every expectation that this improvement in the new home market will continue through the second half of the year," Glunt said. "We're forecasting 650,000 new home sales in 1993 and with more performances like the one we saw in June, the market will meet that projection."
 The 678,000 figure represented a 16.1 percent increase over June of 1992. Regionally, sales were up in June from May in all parts of the country except the West. New home sales climbed 7.8 percent in the Northeast, 9.2 percent in the Midwest and 33.6 percent in the South. In the West, due to the weak California market, sales fell 14.9 percent.
 The Commerce Department also made revisions to the March, April and May figures. The March total was revised upward to 602,000 seasonally adjusted sales; April was revised down to 698,000; and May was revised up to 611,000 from a weaker than expected 571,000.
 "Revisions aside, June was a healthy month for new home sales and that's good news for the nation's economy," Glunt said.
 Prices of new homes fell 5.2 percent in June to a median price of $122,300. The median price in June was also down slightly from a year ago.
 The price softness can be attributed to the strong rate of sales in the South and Midwest where home prices are lower than in the Northeast and the West. In addition, a large proportion of new homes being sold are moderately priced.
 "With mortgage rates at about 7.25 percent, it's an excellent time for first-time home buyers to take advantage of the abundance of moderately priced homes being built and enjoy the benefits and amenities of owning a new home," Glunt said.
 -0- 7/30/93
 /CONTACT: Jay Shackford of the National Association of Home Builders, 202-822-0406/


CO: National Association of Home Builders ST: District of Columbia IN: CST SU: ECO

TW -- DC027 -- 7840 07/30/93 14:57 EDT
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Date:Jul 30, 1993
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