The rate of new-home sales in August held at the record-low rate set in July, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Census Bureau announced today.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate of new-home sales was estimated at 288,000 in August, down an estimated 28.9 percent from August 2009 and level with a historic low dating back over 40 years.

The median sales price of new homes sold in August dropped 1.2 percent compared to August 2009, to $204,700, while the average price fell 3.5 percent, to $248,800, the agencies reported. The median and average price of new homes has fallen for the past three months.

Regionally, the rate of new-home sales plunged an estimated 38.2 percent in the Midwest, 33.6 percent in the West, 28.2 percent in the South and 5.4 percent in the Northeast year-over-year in August.

The months’ supply of new homes for sale grew an estimated 10.3 percent year-over-year in August, to 8.6 months. A supply of six months is considered a rough equilibrium between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market.

The rate of existing-home sales, too, has been near record lows, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Despite climbing 7.6 percent in August compared to July, sales of resale homes were still near the July record low, which dates back at least 15 years.

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