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Old 10-28-2005, 10:48 PM
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Lightbulb New-home sales rebounded in September

New-home sales rebounded at a faster-than-expected pace in September, as prices eased somewhat and the stock of new homes on the market rose to a new record.

The Commerce Department said Thursday that sales of new single-family homes increased 2.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.222 million. August sales fell 11.6% to a revised annual rate of 1.197 million from the earlier estimated 1.237 million. July sales were revised down to show a 4.3% increase to an annual rate of 1.354 million from 1.373 million.

Recent housing market indicators have yet to show sustained cooling of the red-hot activity in recent years. Existing-home sales were reported unchanged in September at nearly record-high levels, and housing construction staged a surprising rebound during the month.

Despite the Federal Reserve's continued campaign of gradual hikes in its short-term interest rates since the summer of 2004, the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has remained near historic lows, averaging 5.77% last month, down from 5.82% in August, according to Freddie Mac. However, rates have edged above 6% in recent weeks, and a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed Wednesday that the level of mortgage applications for purchase declined 7.4% last week .....

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