Sales of new homes in the US dipped slightly in August from July but the average price of homes sold during the month rose by a record amount.

The Commerce Department said that new-home sales edged down to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 373,000 in August, a dip of 0.3% from July's rate of 374,000.

That had been the fastest pace since April 2010 when government tax credits were boosting sales.

Sales in August were up 27.7% from the pace a year ago.

But even with that gain, new-home sales remain well below the annual pace of 700,000 that economists consider healthy.

The average price of a new home jumped 11.2% in August to $256,900, the biggest one-month gain on record.