Sales of new single‐family houses in October 2018 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, 8.9% below the revised September rate of 597,000 and is 12.0% below the October 2017 estimate of 618,000.

Sales were down across all regions, with the Northeast and Midwest both falling in double digits. The South, the largest region, was off 7.7% and the West was off the least at 3.2%.

The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2018 was $309,700, down from $321,300 in September. The average sales price was $395,000, up from $379,000 a month earlier.

The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 336,000. This represents a supply of 7.4 months at the current sales rate.

Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni analyzed the data: “New home sales fell in October and are running substantially behind last year's pace. However, the September number was revised up substantially. The hurricanes in the South and wildfires in the West likely impacted both month’s numbers, and continue to cloud the picture of the housing market’s overall strength. The strong job market and rising wages should continue to support housing demand, but the lack of affordability has been a major constraint this year. The increase in supply on the market will be a positive as we move into 2019.”