ECONOMY

US new-home sales climbed in June to more than 8-year high

Americans bought new homes in June at the fastest pace in more than eight years, a sign that a solid job market and low mortgage rates are bolstering the broader U.S. economy.

The Commerce Department says new-home sales rose 3.5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 592,000, the best level since February 2008. Purchases of new homes have climbed 10.1 percent year-to-date, aided by an unemployment rate at a healthy 4.9 percent and mortgage rates that approached record lows at the end of last month.

Sales surged in the West and Midwest by more than 10 percent in June, while declining in the Northeast and South.

June's median sales price rose 6.1 percent from a year ago to $306,700.