WASHINGTON - The median price of new homes sold in August rose a record 11.2 percent as sales dipped slightly.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the median price of a new home jumped 11.2 percent in August to $256,900, the biggest one-month gain on record.

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New-home sales edged down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000 in August, a dip of 0.3 percent from July's revised rate of 374,000, the Commerce Department said. That had been the fastest pace since April 2010 when government tax credits were boosting sales.

Sales in August were up 27.7 percent from the pace a year ago. But even with that gain, new-home sales remain well below the annual pace of 700,000 that economists consider healthy.

The housing market has been making a modest but steady recovery, helped by the Federal Reserve's efforts to give the economy a boost through lower interest rates. The Fed earlier this month announced a third round of stimulus.