New home sales rose 1.3% in October after September sales were revised downward, according to new government figures released Monday.Meanwhile, the median sales price fell to its lowest level of the year.
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that sales of newly constructed homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000 in October from a 303,000 rate in September.
The September number was revised downward by 10,000 units. IHS Global Insight economist Patrick Newport noted that the 1.3% monthly increase is "not statistically important."
He points out the 307,000 annual sales rate is the lowest reading since the Census Bureau began collecting data on new home sales in 1963.
"This is shaping up to be the worse year on record for the single-family housing market," Newport said.
The three-month moving average shows that new home sales are "stuck at the bottom nationally and in all four regions" of the country, he said.
"Prices were also weak in October," Newport said. The average price of a new home fell to $242,300 — the lowest since August 2003.
The Global Insight economist said a turnaround in the new home market will take further job growth, easier credit for builders, a drop in foreclosures and house price stabilization.
"These will happen eventually, but it will take time," Newport said.