Sales of newly built homes in the U.S. appear to be stuck at the bottom.
The August read on new home sales showed properties selling at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 295,000, down 2.3% from a revised July rate of 302,000 and just 6.1% above August 2010, according to the Commerce Department.
"With job growth at a standstill, the stock market swinging wildly, Congress wrangling over the debt ceiling and the euro zone's problems sending consumer confidence down, sales of new homes are slipping from an already weak pace," Celia Chen, director of housing economics at Moody's Analytics, wrote in a note to clients. "New home sales fell below the 300,000 mark in August and are nearing the cyclical (and 48-year) low of 278,000 that sales hit in August 2010."
Patrick Newport, U.S. economist with IHS Global Insight, said the trend for new home sales has been flat for the last 16 months.