Home sales in July came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000. In June, 300,000 new homes were sold, the department said, revising last month's estimate lower by 12,000.
July's rate came in 6.8 percent above the 279,000 new single-family homes sold in July 2010.
The Commerce Department said the average sales price for a new home sold in May was $222,000, down from $235,200 in June.
At the end of July, there were 165,000 new homes on the market, a 6.6-month supply at the current rate of sales, the Commerce Department said.