WASHINGTON — Sales of new single-family houses climbed 5.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 in September, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
The accelerated sales pace followed a revised August rate of 368,000, originally reported as 373,000. The September annual rate represents the highest since a 422,000 annual pace recorded in April 2010.
The September rate surpassed the median annual rate of 385,000 projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and was 27.1% above the September 2011 level of 306,000.
New home sales rose 16.7% to 35,000 from 30,000 in the Northeast, and jumped 16.8% to 215,000 from 184,000 in the South. Sales rose more modestly in the West, up 3.9% to 107,000 from 103,000. A 37.3% decrease in the Midwest partially offset the gains in the other regions, as new home sales in that part of the country fell to 32,000 from 51,000.
The median sales price of new houses decreased 3.2% to $242,400 in September, from the revised August median price of $250,400. On a year-over-year basis, the median price rose 11.7% from $217,000 in September 2011.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale at the end of September was 145,000, up from the previous month's 143,000. That represents a supply of 4.5 months at the current sales rate.