Sales of new homes fell 4% in July from their level in June and a whopping 21.6% compared with sales in the same month of last year, adding to the gloom of the U.S. housing market.According to government figures released Aug. 24, new single-family homes sold at an annual rate of 1.07 million units in July, the lowest reading since February. The National Association of Realtors reported Aug. 23 that sales of existing single-family homes fell 5% in July to 6.33 million units, the lowest level since January 2004. According to the NAR, there is a 7.3-month supply of homes on the market (3.86 million units), a 59% increase from that of a year ago. A research report put out by RBS Greenwich Capital comments that new-home sales were "slightly weaker" than expected, adding that, "With doom and gloom coming from originators and home builders, we have to take this seriously." The NAR can be found online at http://www.realtor.org.

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