- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new homes dropped sharply last month to the slowest pace on record, the latest sign that the economic recovery is fading.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new-home sales fell 12.4 percent in July from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 276,600. That was the slowest pace on records dating back to 1963.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a pace of 330,000.

June’s sales figures were revised downward to an annual pace of 315,000. May’s figures were revised upward and are now the second-slowest pace on record.

The median sales price in July was $204,000. That was down 4.8 percent from a year earlier and down 6 percent from June.