In another sign of the sluggish economy, existing home sales fell 3.5% in July from the month before, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
The trade group reported that new home sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.67 million homes, compared with 4.84 million homes in June.
A bright spot is that new home sales were 21% higher than the 3.86 million recorded in July 2010.
“Affordability conditions this year have been the most favorable on record dating back to 1970, but many buyers are being held back because banks are offering financing to only the most highly qualified borrowers, ignoring a large share of otherwise creditworthy buyers,” National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.
The association reported that the median price of existing homes was $174,000, down 4.4% from July 2010.