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Report: Newly built home sales down 17 percent

Sales of newly-constructed homes in June fell almost 17 percent from a year ago, the federal government said today in releasing national numbers.

This comes despite the initial June 30 closing deadline to get the federal home buyers tax credit, but the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said June’s sales of brand-New home sales were up 23.6 percent from May.

Sales nowadays all depend on one factor, said developer Nick Cassis, based in Oyster Bay.

It’s price, even if he has to take a loss, said Cassis, who’s has land ready to build in Farmingdale, New Hampshire and Vermont.

“Houses that we were selling for $800,000 are now selling in the fives and low sixes,” he said. “Everything is price driven.”

He’s building on the last sale he made, the 21st house in a Farmingdale subdivision where he started work four years ago. He has four more lots ready to build, if only someone would call.

“The phones are not ringing off the hook,” Cassis said. “The last house that I sold for $585,000, I’m probably losing about $100,000 on that house. But I have to try to get out of there. I have four lots left. What am I going to do with them?”

The federal government said an estimated 210,000 newly-constructed homes were for sale at the end of June. That’s a 7.6-month supply, the report said, down from 8.5 months a year ago and 9.6 months in May.

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