By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes in the U.S. rose 3.6 percent in July to match a two-year high reached in May, the latest sign of a steady recovery in the housing market.
According to the Commerce Department, new-home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000. That’s the same as in May, which was the highest since April 2010.
In the past 12 months, sales have jumped 25 percent. Still, the increase is from a historically low level. New-home sales are well below the annual pace of 700,000 that economists consider healthy.
One trend holding back sales is that there aren’t many newly built homes available. New homes for sale dipped last month to 142,000, the lowest on records dating back to 1963.