By Jeffry Bartash
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Sales of new single-family U.S. homes rose by 5.7% in September as prices fell to the lowest level in nearly a year, The Commerce Department said Wednesday. New home sales climbed to an annual pace of 313,000 in September from August’s slightly revised level of 296,000, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast new home sales to rise to 300,000. Yet sales are still 0.9% lower compared to one year ago. The median selling price of new homes, meanwhile, fell by 3.1% to $204,400, marking the lowest level since last October. The supply of new homes available fell to 6.2 months at the current sales pace from 6.6 months in August, matching the lowest level since April 2010. The South accounted for more than half of all new home sales last month, while sales fell in the Northeast and Midwest.