US new home sales jump 13.8% in June

WASHINGTON — Sales of new homes rose a sharp 13.8% in June, the second straight increase after two months when sales plunged as the country went into lockdown because of the coronavirus.

The Commerce Department reported today that the June gain pushed sales of new homes to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 776,000. The increase follows a 19.4% jump in May.

A separate report Wednesday showed sales of previously owned homes surged 20.7% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.72 million. Even with the gain, which followed three months of declines, new home sales remain toughly 20% below pre-pandemic levels.

The median price of a new home sold in June increased to $329,200, up 5.6% from a year ago.