New home sales rise 0.7% in Aug.

WASHINGTON - September 25, 2009 The Commerce Department says sales inched up to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 429,000 from a downwardly revised 426,000 in July. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a pace of 440,000.

While it was the fifth straight increase and the strongest report in 11 months, sales were down 4.3 percent from the same month last year.

The median sales price of $195,200 was off 11.7 percent from $221,000 from a year earlier, and 9.5 percent below July's level of $215,600.

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