U.S. New Home Sales Climb in August

There are patches of the American economy that don't look so well these days.

But, at the risk of uttering a double-negative, new home sales does NOT provide one of those areas.

The new home sector in the United States positive celebrated last month, according to figures released Wednesday by the Commerce Department, which declared the number soared 7.1% in August, as low mortgage rates pull buyers into the housing market.

The department also said Wednesday that new homes sales increased to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 713,000, up from a revised 666,000 in July. So far this year, sales have risen a healthy 6.4%.

Trade tensions and slower economic growth have pushed down interest rates, helping homebuyers for the moment. But new construction has yet to meet the demand from likely buyers, so the sales gains could translate into higher prices.

August's average sales price rose 6.1% from a year ago to $404,200, a record level not adjusted for inflation.