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Worst year on record for new home sales?

Inventory of unsold new homes falls to record low

Editor's note: This article is republished with permission of Builder magazine. View the original article: "New Home Sales Decline, Prompting Predictions of Worst Year on Record." By CLAIRE EASLEY Sales of new homes fell for the third straight month in July, and estimates for April, May, and June were revised down, fueling fears that this year will be the worst on record. Sales declined 0.7 percent from June, registering an annual rate of 298,000, according to data released by the U.S. Census and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. While new-home sales improved 6.8 percent on an annual basis, that number is skewed by the market upheaval caused in July 2010 by the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit. "Last year, our estimation for new-home sales was 321,000," says Patrick Newport, U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight. "This year, we estimate sales will stand at 319,000, but that number will probably be lowered due to downward revision...