Meanwhile, an increase in the number of existing homes listed for sale has created significant, less-expensive competition for newly built homes. "The market is recalibrating from the rapid and short-lived rebound we saw" last year, according to Bert Selva, president and chief executive of Shea Homes, which operates in eight states.
That stands in contrast to the market for existing homes, which has strengthened this year, recording four consecutive months of improved sales through July.
New home sales last month were up 12. 3 per cent from July 2013, the weakest month of last year.
So far this year sales have largely failed to gain momentum, holding a pace roughly in line with the 429,000 new houses sold in all of 2013.
Monday's report showed the supply of new homes on the market would take six months to exhaust at the current sales pace.
Several home builders reported that sales last month were even with or slightly greater than a year ago, but they added that prospective buyers remain hesitant to go ahead with sales.
Read more here: Business Spectator