Page last updated at 15:04 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 16:04 UK

Sharp jump in US new home sales

House being built in the US

The annual rate of US new home sales jumped 11% in June, government figures have shown, a further indication that the housing sector is over the worst.

The Commerce Department said sales hit a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 384,000 in June, against an upwardly-adjusted rate of 346,000 in May.

June's sales figure was the strongest pace seen since November 2008.

However, the median sale price was $206,200 (£125,000), down 5.8% from May and 12% lower than a year ago.

Growth hopes

New home sales have now risen for three months in a row.

"The data will reinforce the developing thinking that housing market has bottomed and that economy has stabilised and will grow in the third quarter," Jim Awad, managing director at Zephyr Management in New York, told Reuters.

Last week, the National Association of Realtors said that sales of previously-owned US homes had risen for the third month in a row in June, and at a quicker rate than expected.

However, it also found that prices remained depressed, with prices still down 15.4% on a year ago with the average sale price at $181,000.

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