The inventory of new homes for sale jumped dramatically in July, the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported today. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 393,000, which is the highest level for at least the past five years. This represents a supply of 4.2 months, which means that it would take about 4.2 months to exhaust the supply of houses at the current sales pace. That is the highest monthly supply level since February 2003, when the supply was estimated at 4.5 months. The rate of new single-family home sales dropped an estimated 6.4 percent from June to July and 1.9 percent from July 2003 to July 2004, according to federal statistics. These comparisons have an error margin ranging from 9.7 percent to 10.7 percent. The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new single-family home sales reached 1.13 million in July 2004, compared with 1.21 million in June 2004 and 1.16 million in July 2003. This season...
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