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New home sales up in July

Aug. 24, 2021 Updated Tue., Aug. 24, 2021 at 9:38 p.m.

WASHINGTON – Sales of new homes rose a modest 1% in July after a string of declines as new home prices soar to record levels.

Sales last month reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 708,000, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday.

Sales had fallen in April, May and June as builders confronted surging lumber prices and a shortage of workers.

Home prices continue their upward trajectory to new heights.

The median price of a new home sold in July climbed to an unprecedented $390,500, up 18.4% from a year ago, while the average sales price in July hit a record $446,000, up 17.6% from a year ago.

Even with the small sales gain in July, new home sales are 27.2% below the pace of a year ago. Sales peaked at a rate of 993,000 units in January but have cooled since then, though remain at historically high levels.

Tech executive gets two years

SEATTLE – A Washington state tech executive has been sentenced to two years in prison after fraudulently obtaining nearly $1.8 million in federal COVID-19 disaster relief loans.

Mukund Mohan, of Clyde Hill, previously worked for Microsoft and Amazon and was making more than $200,000 a year as the chief of technology for the Canadian e-commerce company BuildDirect when he was arrested in July 2020.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle said he submitted eight fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan applications seeking $5.5 million for companies he purportedly ran, and he received almost $1.8 million.

From wire reports

Mohan’s attorneys sought a six-month sentence, noting Mohan had no criminal history and had spent only $16,500 of the money.

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