Government: New home sales up in October

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Further muddling attempts to gauge the health of the housing market, the government Tuesday morning said sales of new single-family homes increased in October by 13 percent over September and 9 percent over October 2004. Sales of new single-family houses were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,424,000, according to joint data from the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This data comes a day after the National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales had dropped in October. The median sales price for new single-family houses in October, according to the government, was $231,3000; the average sales price was $286,500. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was $496,000, representing a supply of 4.3 months at the current sales rate.