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No spring in May new-home sales

Builders may be competing with REOs

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Sales of newly built single-family homes fell 0.6 percent from April to May as prices rebounded from recent lows, and were down 32.8 percent from a year ago, the U.S. Census Bureau said today.At a seasonally adjusted rate of 342,000 sales a year, the 292,000 new homes on the market at the end of May represented a 10.2-month supply of inventory. That's down from 10.4 months in April and 12.4 months in January, but many economists consider a six-month supply of homes to be a more equal balance of supply and demand.The median price of new homes sold in May was $221,600, up 4.2 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis from April and 9.7 percent from the recent low of $202,000 seen in March. Looking back a year, the median new-home price was down 3.4 percent from $229,300.In a healthy real estate market, home sales usually pick up in the spring. The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of resale homes posted a second consecutive monthly gain in May -- the first tim...