SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Sales of new homes in the U.S. rose modestly in August as rising prices continue to sideline potential buyers. The Commerce Department says new home sales were up 1.5% last month, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 740,000. That’s more than economists had expected and follows an increase in July, which was revised upward to a seasonally adjusted rate of 729,000 houses. July’s jump came after three consecutive declines in April, May and June as builders grappled with surging lumber prices and a shortage of workers. Prices for new homes also ticked up in August. The median price for a new home rose $400 to $390,900, more than 20% higher than August of 2020.