In this Sept. 3, 2019 photo a newly constructed home rests on a plot of land, in Westwood, Mass. On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the Commerce Department reports on sales of new homes in August. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

US new home sales climbed a healthy 7.1% in August

September 25, 2019 - 10:07 am

U.S. new home sales jumped 7.1% in August, as low mortgage rates pull buyers into the housing market.

The Commerce Department says 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%.

Much of August's sales growth came from homes that have yet to be built, a sign that low mortgage rates are behind the surge in purchases. The 30-year mortgage rate averaged 3.73% last week, down from 4.65% a year ago according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac.

Trade tensions and slower economic growth have pushed down interest rates, helping homebuyers for the moment.

August's average sales price rose 6.1% from a year ago to a record $404,200.

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