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New U.S. Home Sales Plunge 8.1%, Boston Pays No Attention

[Chris O'Meara/AP]


The national stats are in: new home sales stumbled 8.1% last month, a rate of 406,000 in June from 446,000 May. And while the Northeast took the biggest tumble with a 20% decrease in sales, Boston doesn't seem to notice.

Home sales across the country faltered due to a malicious elixir of rising prices, higher mortgage rates and meager wage growth.

But that last ingredient may be where Boston has a hidden ace: many jobs in the city, based in healthcare, technology, and other professional areas, could be protected from economic swings with high base salaries. Plus, we all know how anemic the options are for new homes, so the line of buyers is eager to move.

On the other hand, national sales of existing homes have increased. Average mortgage rates have dropped to 4.13 percent, from 4.53 percent at the beginning of this year, according to Freddie Mac.

The takeaway? If you've got the money and the will, buy. If you're in Boston, get a little more money first, and then buy.

· New US home sales plunge 8.1% in June [Boston Globe]