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New home sales in U.S. up 5.4% in July

Market should make additional gains this year, builders say

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 5.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 507,000 units in July, according to newly released data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

"Our builders are reporting higher traffic and more serious buyers, and are adding inventory in anticipation of future business," said Tom Woods, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Blue Springs, Mo.

"Today's report is in line with other government data and improving builder sentiment and shows a gradual but consistent housing recovery," added David Crowe, NAHB's chief economist. "As job growth and consumer confidence continue to strengthen, the housing market should make additional gains this year."

Regionally, the Northeast, South and West posted respective gains of 23.1%, 5.8%, and 6.7%. The Midwest registered a 6.9% decline.

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