New single-family home sales jumped 9.48% in August as lower mortgage rates brought more homebuyers into the market.The U.S. Census Bureau reported that new-home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.18 million in August from 1.08 million in July. Michael Carliner, an economist at the National Association of Home Builders, said lower mortgage rates had some impact, but he noted that new-home sales have been above 1.1 million since the third quarter of 2003. Sales are currently 10% ahead of last year's record pace. "It is almost certain" that this will be a record year, Mr. Carliner said.

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