WASHINGTON — The pace of new single-family home sales surged 25.4% to a 444,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in October from a 354,000 pace in September, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.

The October sales rate was ahead the MNI survey median forecast of 430,000, but the September sales rate was well below the 418,000 pace forecasted for that month. In addition, the sales pace in August was revised down to 379,000 from the 421,000 rate previously reported.

Before seasonal adjustment, the level of total sales in October was up 29.6% from September and up 20.7% from its year ago level.

October sales were posted double-digit percentage gains in all four regions of the country.

The supply of new homes for sales fell 3.7% to 183,000 in October after jumping to a three year high of 183,000 in September. Before seasonal adjustment, the home supply was up 25.5% year/year, a much faster rate of growth than for sales.

As a result of the surge in the October sales pace and the drop in home supply, the seasonally adjusted month supply fell sharply to 4.9 months at the current sales pace in October from 6.4 months in September. The October rate was still above the 4.8 months of supply in October 2012.

The median sales price of new homes fell 4.5% to $245,800, the lowest since November 2012, and was down 0.6% from the median price a year ago.

Overall, the data in this report suggest that the sales return to an upward trend after a lull in the third quarter.

Market News International is a real-time global news service for fixed-income and foreign exchange market professionals. See www.marketnews.com.

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