Sales of new U.S. single-family homes rebounded strongly in June from the prior month's record low, government data showed on Monday, driving the number of houses on the market to their lowest level in nearly 42 years.
The Commerce Department said sales jumped 23.6 percent to a 330,000 unit annual rate from a downwardly revised 267,000 units in May. The sales pace last month was still the second lowest since records started in 1963. The percentage increase was the largest increase since May 1980, and partially unwound the prior month's historic 36.7 percent decline.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales rising to a 320,000 unit pace last month from May's previously reported 300,000 units.
The report suggested the housing market may be close to working through the distortions following the end of a popular home-buyer tax credit in April, an incentive that brought forward sales. Data last week showed home construction fell to an eight-month low in June, while sales of existing home sales were the lowest in three months.
Last month's surge in sales saw the supply of new homes available for sale dropping to 7.6 months' worth from 9.6 months ' worth in May.
The number of new homes on the market dropped 1.4 percent to 210,000 units, the lowest level since September 1968. The median sale price for a new home fell 1.4 percent last month to $213,400. In the 12 months to June, prices dipped 0.6 percent.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Neil Stempleman)