New home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly decreased in the month of July, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.
The report said new home sales dropped by 1.7 percent to an annual rate of 627,000 in July after tumbling by 2.4 percent to a revised rate of 638,000 in June. Economists had expected new home sales to climb by 2.2 percent.
The unexpected decline new home sales was partly due to a sharp drop in new home sales in the Northeast, which plunged by 52.3 percent to a rate of 21,000.
New home sales in the South also slid by 3.3 percent, while new home sales in the Midwest and West jumped by 9.9 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively.
The Commerce Department also said the median sales price of new houses sold in July was $328,700, up 1.8 percent from $322,900 in the same month a year ago.
The seasonally-adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of July was 309,000, representing a supply of 5.9 months at the current sales rate.
On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors released a separate report showing an unexpected drop in existing home sales in the month of July.
NAR said existing home sales dropped by 0.7 percent to an annual rate of 5.34 million in July after falling by 0.6 percent to a rate of 5.38 million in June.
The continued decrease in existing home sales came as a surprise to economists, who had expected existing home sales to climb by 0.6 percent.