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October New Home Sales Speed to Fastest Pace in Six Months

After stumbling in September, the pace of new home sales climbed to a six-month high in October, according to ""figures"":http://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/newressales.pdf reported by the ""Census Bureau"":http://www.census.gov/ and ""HUD"":http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD Wednesday.

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Sales of new single-family homes were at an estimated seasonally adjusted annual pace of 354,000 in September, Census and HUD reported. September's sales rate was 6.6 percent down from August's revised rate of 379,000.

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Though September's numbers were released for the first time Wednesday--they were delayed by the federal government shutdown in October--Census and HUD said the data ""include late reports and corrections normally associated with the first revision,"" making it more reliable than a typical first estimate.

In October, the sales pace picked up to an estimated 444,000, an increase of 25.4 percent month-over-month and 21.6 percent year-over-year.

As of month's end, the seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale for 183,000, representing a 4.9 month supply at the current sales rate, the agencies reported.

Regionally, the Midwest saw the greatest improvement in new home sales percent-wise, reporting a 34.0 percent monthly sales increase to an annualized rate of 63,000. All other regions also experienced increases: +19.2 percent in the Northeast to a rate of 31,000; +28.2 percent in the South to a rate of 259,000; and +15.2 percent in the West to a rate of 91,000.

According to Census and HUD, the median sales price of new houses sold in October was $245,800, while the average price was $321,700.

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