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New home sales jump in August despite record prices

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U.S. new-home sales increased 1.5% to an annual rate of 740,000, the government said Friday. The figure equates to how many homes would be sold over a yearlong period of time if the same number were bought in each month based on the rate of sales in July. Compared to a year ago, sales were down 24%.The median forecast of economists polled by MarketWatch was that new home sales would come in at an annual rate of 720,000 for August. The median sales price of new houses sold in August was $390,900, rising slightly from the previous month to reach a new record high.