The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development released their joint report on new home sales in September and October.  The regular September report was not issued in October due to the government shutdown.  The data is included in the October report in revised form.

New home sales in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 444,000, up 25.4 percent from the revised September rate of 354,000 units (August sales were at a rate of 379,000), the biggest monthly advance since May 1980. The original September estimate was not provided.  October sales were 21.6 percent higher than the 365,000 pace of sales in October 2014.

Sales in the Northeast increased 19.2 percent to a rate of 31,000 sales, 29.2 percent higher than a year earlier.  The Midwest had annualized sales of 63,000 units, up 34.0 percent month over month and 21.2 percent from the previous October.  Sales in the South were at an annualized rate of 259,000, a 28.2 percent increase over the previous month and up 41.5 percent from a year earlier.  Sales in the West rose 15.2 percent to an annual rate of 91,000 new homes but this rate was 14.2 percent below sales in October 2012.

On a non-annualized basis there were an estimated 27,000 new homes sold in September and 35,000 sales in October.  More than half of these sales were in the South in both periods.

There were an estimated 183,000 new homes for sale at the end of October.  This is estimated to be a 4.9 month supply at the current rate of sales, about the same as one year earlier when there were 146,000 available homes.

The median price of a new home sold in October was $245,000 compared to $247,200 in October 2013.  The average prices in the two periods were $321,700 and $285,400 respectively.