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August 25, 2010 11:00 AM, EDT
New Home Sales Drop 12% to Record Low

New home sales fell 12% in July to a record low following a big jump in June, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Sales fell to an annual rate of 276,000 units, the lowest since data began being collected in 1963, Commerce said.

Economists had forecast the rate to hold at 330,000 units, Bloomberg reported. Sales had jumped 24% in June.

Sales declined in all four national regions, led by a 25% plunge in the West.

Rising home sales can mean more business for flatbed trucking companies that haul building materials and dry van freight carriers that haul household appliances and furniture.

New home sales account for about 15% of residential real estate sales.