New Home Sales Surge in October

Washington, DC, Dec. 4, 2013 -- New home sales jumped 25.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 444,000 units in October, according to the Commerce Department.

That came after a decline of 6.6% in September.

Economists expected new home sales to total 428,000 units last month. Compared with October last year, new home sales were up 21.6%.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 183,000. This represents a supply of 4.9 months at the current rate of sale.

One factor in this increase in unit sales was a decline in prices, a trend that is typical in the colder months. The median price of new homes fell 5.3% to $245,800 in October. That is the lowest level since November 2012.

The release of both reports Wednesday was due to the federal government shutdown.