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News Summary: US new-home sales highest in 5 years

The Associated Press

SALES JUMP: Americans snapped up new homes in June at the fastest pace in five years, a sign the housing recovery is strengthening. Sales of newly built homes rose 8.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 497,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

ROOM TO GROW: While sales are still below the 700,000 pace consistent with healthy markets, they have risen 38 percent in the past 12 months. That's the biggest annual gain since January 1992. Most economists suggest new home sales will continue to increase.

ECONOMIC BOOST: New-home sales have an outsize impact on the economy. Each home built creates an average of three new jobs and spurs spending on furniture and appliances.