Sales of new single-family homes in September were up from August sales, while the median price dropped 5.7 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today.

New-home sales in September were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million, which is 3.5 percent (plus or minus 9 percent) above the revised August rate of 1.17 million and 7 percent (plus or minus 11.8 percent) above the September 2003 estimate of 1.13 million. The seasonally adjusted annual rate projects the monthly sales total over a 12-month period.

The median sales price of new homes sold in September was $197,700 and the average sales price was $255,100. The median sales price of new homes sold in August was $208,900 and the average sales price was $267,000. In July, the median sales price of new single-family houses sold was $207,400 and the average price was $274,200. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of September was 404,000, which represents a supply of 4.1 months at the current sales rate.

From September 2003 to September 2004, the seasonally adjusted rate of home sales was down 19.3 percent in the Northeast (plus or minus 44.8 percent), up 22.7 percent in the Midwest (plus or minus 27.2 percent), up 9.1 percent in the West (plus or minus 25 percent), and up 4.3 percent in the South.

From August 2004 to September 2004, the seasonally adjusted rate of homes sales was down 0.8 percent in the West (plus or minus 16.6 percent), up 12.3 percent in the Midwest, up 6 percent in the Northeast, and up 2.7 percent in the South.

The percentage of houses for sale in the $125,000 to $149,999 price range jumped to an annual high of 17 percent in September 2004, after hovering between 11 percent and 13 percent for the rest of the year. Meanwhile, the percentage of houses for sale in the $250,000 to $299,999 range dropped to an annual low of 8 percent.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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