Sales of new, single-family homes stood nearly unchanged in July, dropping 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 298,000 units, the U.S. Commerce Department reported.

Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders and a home builder from Reno, Nev., said not much has changes to improve the housing market’s fortunes.

"The fact that new-home sales fell by less than one percent in July is an indication of how little conditions have changed in the housing market," Nielsen said. "While new-home inventories are exceptionally thin, home builders are still competing with large numbers of foreclosed and distressed homes on the market and a climate of uncertainty in which consumers are reluctant to go forward with a major purchase for fear of what economic news tomorrow might bring."

NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said he was not surprised.

"The sales pace of newly built, single-family homes in July was in line with what it has been over the last year, and this is in keeping with our forecast," he said. "While we expect to see some marginal gains in sales activity through the rest of 2011, we do not foresee any major advances until economic growth helps boost home buyers' confidence."