August sales of new single-family homes fell dramatically from a year ago while the median price dipped at a more modest pace, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

At a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 460,000 units, new-home sales were approximately 11.5 percent below July’s rate and some 34.5 percent below the 702,000-unit pace in August 2007.

The median price of new houses sold in August — $221,900 — dropped 6.1 percent from $236,500 a year ago.

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