New-home sales increased 4.1% in August, according to a government report, but the unexpected pop resulted from a downward revision in July sales by nearly 6% and not an upturn in market activity."The housing market is weakening," said Celia Chen, director of housing economics at Moody's/Economy.com. "The trend is still downward." The U.S. Census Bureau reported new single-family home sales rose from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.01 million in July to 1.05 million in August. July sales were revised downward from 1.07 million. The Economy.com director said she doesn't expect new-home sales to flatten out until mid-2007. She is projecting that sales will be down 14% this calendar year and another 8% in 2007. The Census Bureau report shows that new-home sales are off 17.4% since August of last year.

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