(New-home sales article updated with additional commentary and stock-price movement.)NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sales of newly built homes fell 12.4% in July to a seasonally adjusted all-time low rate of 276,000, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The figure came in well below expectations for a rate of 334,000 after a revised rate of 315,000 in June, and added to the already dismal outlook for the U.S. housing market following Tuesday's weak existing-home sales data . July's rate represented a 32.4% decline from year-earlier results, and the weakest month on record. Sales were strongest in the South and weakest in the Northeast.