WASHINGTON Ã¢â‚¬â€ Sales of new one-family homes in the United States plunged almost 33 percent in May to a record low after the expiration of a tax break, government data showed Wednesday.
The Commerce Department said sales of new single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 300,000 in May, 32.7 percent below the revised April rate of 446,000.
The pace was the slowest since January 1963, when the department began the data series, and well below the average analyst forecast of 430,000.
The pullback in new-home sales was expected after buyers rushed to meet an April 30 deadline for contracts to be signed, driving up April sales.
New-home sales, which are reported at contract signing, had surged in March and April. But the department revised sharply lower its original estimates.
Prices fell for the second consecutive month in May. The median price fell 1.0 percent to 202,900 dollars, the lowest level since December 2003.
The supply of new homes for sale at the end of May was 213,000, representing an 8.5-month supply at the current sales pace.
In April the pace was 5.8 months, with 214,000 homes on the market.