Sales of new homes in the United States sank in June and prices fell, signalling weakness in the struggling housing market, official data said.

Sales of new single-family houses fell to an annual pace of 406,000 in June, down 8.1% from May, the Commerce Department said.

Sales in May were revised down sharply to a rate of 442,000 houses from the prior estimate of 504,000, according to the monthly data, which tend to be volatile.

Year-over-year, the June sales level was down 11.5%.

The median sales price of new houses sold in June was $273,500, falling from $282,600 in May.

The housing market has been struggling to recover from a long soft patch due to higher mortgage interest rates, lack of inventory that pushed prices higher, and high unemployment.

Sales of existing US homes, the majority of the US housing market, hit the highest level in eight months in June as home price gains slowed to "more welcoming levels," the National Association of Realtors reported earlier in the week.

Sales of existing homes, climbed 2.6% to an annual rate of 5.04 million in June, the highest pace since October 2013.