WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans ramped up new-home buying in October after cutting back in September, evidence that the housing recovery is improving fitfully.
The Commerce Department says sales of new homes grew 25.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 444,000. That was the largest monthly percentage increase since May 1980. But it came after sales had fallen 6.6% in September to a 354,000 annual rate. And the pace was revised much lower than initially reported.
New-homes sales have risen 21.6% higher in the 12 months ending in October. Still, the pace remains well below the 700,000 consistent with a healthy market.
Prices fell 4.5% to $245,800 from October to September, a potential sign of greater affordability.
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