It might not be as sexy as the new iPhone, but Americans bought something else last month that matters a lot to the U.S. economy: new homes. Sales of new single-family houses shot up 5.7% in September, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released today. 

The September spike equates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 homes, 21,000 more than the revised August rate. . The last rate this high occurred during the height of stimulus efforts in 2010. 

Sales in the South led the nation, increasing 16.8%. Midwest sales dropped 37% between August and September, but the region accounted for only about 8% of sales, compared to the South's 55%.

At the same time, supply remained low and the median sales price dropped 3% to $242,400. The average sales price was $292,400. 

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