The supply of homes fell to 4.3 months from 4.9 months in June. There were 233,000 new houses on the market at the end of July, the least since November.

The median sales price of a new house declined 0.5 percent from July 2015 to $294,600, Tuesday’s report showed.

New-home sales, which account for about 10 percent of the residential market, are tabulated when contracts are signed. That makes them a timelier barometer than transactions on existing homes.

July figures for previously owned U.S. home sales are set for release from the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday. Those purchases unexpectedly climbed in June to the strongest level in more than nine years, helped by first-time buyers. Economists in the Bloomberg survey ahead of Wednesday’s report forecast little change from the prior month.

The average rate on a 30-year, fixed mortgage was 3.43 percent in the week ended Aug. 18, close to the record-low 3.31 percent reached in 2012, according to Freddie Mac figures dating to 1971.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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