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New Home sales rose 0.7% in September, matching expectations. Analysts at Wells Fargo point out year-to-date sales are up 7.2% compared to the same period last year and argue lower mortgage rates are lifting demand.

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“The data are highly volatile and subject to heavy revisions, but the trend in new home sales is one of strength. Year-to-date sales are up 7.2% nationally, with the South””the most important region for housing activity””up an even stronger 12.8%.”

“Inventories fell in September for the eighth straight month, but the drawdown in supply has yet to spur a pickup in prices. The median new home price was $299K, down 8.8% year-over-year.”

“Lower mortgage rates have been closer to a panacea for new home sales than for resales, which are up only 3.9% year-over-year, compared to a 15.5% rise in new sales.”

“Mortgage apps have cooled the past month but continue to augur improving sales in coming months.”