Record plunge for new-home sales

WASHINGTON – Sales of new homes plunged a record amount in 2007, although prices edged up slightly in the weakest showing in 16 years.

The Commerce Department reported yesterday that sales of new homes dropped 26.4 percent last year to 774,000. That marked the worst sales year on record, surpassing the old mark of a 23.1 percent plunge in 1980.

The government reported that the median price of a new home barely budged last year, edging up a slight 0.2 percent to $246,900, the poorest showing since prices fell 2.4 percent during the 1991 housing downturn.

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