WASHINGTON — Sales of new single-family houses were up 1.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 315,000 in November, the highest since April when the annual rate was 316,000, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

The October rate was above the 313,000 median annual rate projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, above the revised October rate of 310,000 and 9.8% above the November 2010 rate of 287,000.

New home sales in the South rose by 12.9% and in the Midwest by 7.5%, but they fell in the Northeast by 26.3% and in the West by 16.9%.

The median sales price of new houses sold in November fell 3.8% to $214,000, the lowest since October 2010 when it was $204,200.

The average sales price plummeted 4.1% to $242,900, the lowest since October 2003, when it was $242,800.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 158,000, representing a supply of 6.0 months at the current sales rate.

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