US new-home sales jumped 6.2 percent in October

Pending Home Sales
AP Photo/Paul Sakuma/File

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans bought new homes in October at the fastest pace in a decade — a 6.2 percent monthly increase that reflects both the underlying strength of the economy and the worsening shortage of existing homes for sale.

The Commerce Department says new-home sales last month rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 685,000. That marks the third straight monthly gain and the best sales clip since October 2007. Much of the sales growth came from the Northeast and Midwest.

Many buyers are turning to new construction because there is a shrinking supply of existing homes for sale. The lack of properties on the market has fueled higher prices. The average sales price of a new home jumped 13.6 percent over the past 12 months to $400,200.

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