New-home sales rose 6.2% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 430,000, up from a revised annual rate of 405,000 in September, the Commerce Department reported last week. Sales in the South set the pace, with a gain of more than 23%.
Sales benefited from what was anticipated to be the end of the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, on Oct. 30. The credit has since been extended, however, to April 30, 2010.
New-home sales are up 5.1% in the past year, rebounding from sharply lower sales in late 2008 and much of this year. The annual sales rate hit a low of 329,000 in January.
Regionally, new-home sales rose 5.1% in October in the Northeast compared to September, and posted a gain of 23.2% in the South. Sales declined by 20% in the Midwest and 5.1% in the West.
Compared to October of 2008, new-home sales were up 5.7% in the Northeast, 8.4% in the South, and 8.1% in the West. Sales in the Midwest remained 11.1% below the pace of the year before.