The U.S. Census Bureau this morning released data on new single-family home sales for September. Sales rose 5.7% month-over-month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000. Economists had been expecting a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 386,000. The September number is 27.1% higher than the total for September 2011, and is the highest number since April 2010. At the peak in 2005, new home sales posted a seasonally adjusted annual rate of nearly 1.4 million.
The Census Bureau also reported that the median sales price for new homes sold in September was $242,400 and the average sales price was $292,400. In August, the median sales price for a new house was $256,900 and the average sales price was $273,900.
At the end of September the number of new homes for sale totaled 145,000, a supply of 4.5 months, up slightly from an inventory totaling 141,000 at the end of August.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reported earlier today that mortgage applications for purchases fell by 8% last week. The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate conforming mortgage rose to 3.63% last week. Refinancings made up 81% of the new mortgage applications.