New Home Sales Stir, But Remain Sluggish

The Associated Press
new home sales
new home sales

WASHINGTON -- Americans bought slightly more new homes in October, a hopeful sign for the troubled housing market. But the median sales price fell to its lowest level of the year, and the overall sales pace is trailing last year's -- the worst in half a century.

The report suggests that housing continues to drag on the U.S. economy and is a long way from recovering.

New-home sales increased 1.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000, the Commerce Department said Monday. That's less than half the 700,000 that economists say must be sold to sustain a healthy housing market.

September's figures were also revised down significantly to show a weaker pace than first estimated.

Last year's 323,000 new homes sold were the fewest since the government began keeping records in 1963. This year isn't faring much better.