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.


Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.