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NEW HOME SALES UP IN JUNE

 NEW HOME SALES UP IN JUNE
 WASHINGTON, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Although new home sales rose


7.9 percent in June to 572,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, overall sales in the second quarter were 11.4 percent lower than in the first quarter, the Commerce Department reported today.
 "We still have a weak economy and lackluster housing market," said Robert "Jay" Buchert, president of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). "Consumer confidence is down, existing home sales are down, and the growth in the Gross Domestic Product is running below 2 percent."
 The weakness in the economy reported for the second quarter should give impetus to last-ditch efforts now underway in Congress to enact legislation that would stimulate the housing market, which has traditionally led the economy out of recession, Buchert said.
 The Senate Finance Committee last night passed a $21.8 billion tax bill that included a $2,500 tax credit for those who purchase new or existing homes between July 28 and Dec. 31, 1992.
 "The home buyer tax credit is the best available prescription to stimulate the sluggish economy," Buchert said. "It will have an immediate impact on housing and the economy by creating 240,000 new jobs and stimulating construction of an additional 125,000 homes in the second half of 1992 and early 1993."
 On a month-to-month basis, figures for new home sales are volatile and in order to get a true gauge of sales activity, the numbers must be followed over a period of months, explained Buchert.
 "If you look at the numbers on a regional basis, sales in the West in June were up 28.9 percent from May," Buchert said. "But May sales fell 30 percent from the previous month, so you can't get too excited over monthly figures. Quarterly totals provide a considerably more accurate picture of the overall situation."
 Sales were off 2.9 percent in the Midwest, down 2.8 percent in the South and up 30.3 percent in the Northeast.
 -0- 7/30/92 R
 /CONTACT: Jay Shackford of the National Association of Home Builders, 202-822-0406/ CO: National Association of Home Builders ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: ECO


KD-DC -- DC029 -- 5345 07/30/92 17:47 EDT
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Date:Jul 30, 1992
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