New home sales in the U.S. unexpectedly edged lower in the month of October, according to a report released by the Commerce Department on Wednesday.
The Commerce Department said new home sales dipped by 0.3 percent to an annual rate of 999,000 in October after inching up by 0.1 percent to a revised rate of 1.002 million in September.
Economists had expected new home sales to jump by 1.1 percent to a rate of 970,000 from the 959,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The unexpected drop in new home sales came as sales in the South and West slumped by 2.0 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, new home sales in the Midwest spiked by 11.2 percent and new home sales in the Northeast surged up by 5.1 percent.
The report said the median sales price of new houses sold in October was $330,600, down 0.3 percent from $311,600 in September but up 2.5 percent from $322,400 in the same month a year ago.
The estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 278,000, representing 3.3 months of supply at the current sales rate.
Last Thursday, a report released by the National Association of Realtors unexpectedly showed a continued increase in existing home sales in the U.S. in the month of October.
NAR said existing home sales jumped by 4.3 percent to an annual rate of 6.85 million in October after soaring by 9.9 percent to a revised rate of 6.57 million in September.
The sharp increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected existing home sales to slump by 1.4 percent to a rate of 6.45 million from the 6.54 million originally reported for the previous month.
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