New home sales increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 458,000 units in October, an increase of 0.7% compared to the September estimate of 455,000 units and an increase of 1.8% compared to the October 2013 estimate of 450,000 units, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The agencies downwardly revised their previously reported September estimate from 467,000 units to 455,000 units. It was the fifth consecutive month that the agencies downwardly revised the previous month's estimate.
The median sales price of a new home sold in the U.S. in October was $305,000; the average sales price was $401,100.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 212,000 – a 5.6-month supply at the current sales rate.
Earlier this month the agencies reported that housing starts dipped 2.8% in October compared to September to reach a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,009,000 units – but unlike previous months, starts of single-family units were up, while starts of multifamily units were significantly down.
Starts of single-family units were at a rate of 696,000 in October – an increase of 4.2% compared to the September rate of 668,000. Starts of multifamily buildings (five or more units) were at an annual rate of about 300,000 – down 15% from about 355,000 in September.
What's more, permits were running at an annual rate of about 1,080,000 in October – an increase of 4.8% from the revised September rate of 1,031,000 and 1.2% above the October 2013 estimate of 1,067,000.