New-home Sales Inch Up 0.7% To 458,000 Annual Rate In October

Sales of new single-family homes ticked up 0.7% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000, the fastest pace in five months, the government reported Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected an October rate of 469,000, compared with an originally reported pace of 467,000 for September. On Wednesday, the U.S. Commerce Department revised September's sales rate to 455,000. Sales of new homes in October were up 1.8% from a year earlier, signaling a slow recovery. For October the sales pace rose 15.8% in the Midwest and 7.1% in the Northeast, but fell 2.7% in the West and 1.9% in the South. The median price of new homes sold rose to a record high of $305,000 in October, bouncing up after a drop in September. The supply of new homes on the U.S. market rose to 5.6 months in October from 5.5 months in September. Economists warn over reading too much into a single monthly report, as the data can be quite volatile. There's a confidence interval of plus or minus 16.5% for October's sales growth of 0.7%, showing that the government isn't sure whether deals rose or fell last month.

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