Sales of new single-family homes were up 5.7 percent from August to September and 27.1 percent from a year ago, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 — the strongest pace of sales since April 2010, the Census Bureau reported today.

The picture varied widely by region, with new-home sales up 75 percent from a year ago in the Northeast, 62.1 percent in the West and 24.3 percent in the South, but falling 31.9 percent in the Midwest. 

Nationwide, there were 145,000 new homes on the market at the end of September, which represented 4.5 months of supply at the current sales rate, down from a record 12.1 months in January 2009, Bill McBride noted on the blog Calculated Risk. 

The median sales price of new homes sold in September 2012 was $242,400, up nearly 12 percent from a year ago.

Source: Calculated Risk blog.

New homes include "not started," "under construction" and "completed." 

At 38,000, the number of completed new homes for sale in September was the lowest level since the Census Bureau started tracking the stat in 1973, according to McBride.

Last week, the Census Bureau reported that housing starts increased 24.5 percent from September 2011 to September 2012.

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