By Ruth Mantell
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. rose 5.7% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000, the highest pace since April 2010, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported Wednesday. The sales pace in August was revised down to 368,000 from a prior estimate of 373,000. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected new-home sales in September to rise to an annual rate of 387,000, given recent gains in other housing-market data, such as confidence among home builders, as well as housing starts and permits. The median sales price in September declined 3.2% to $242,400. The supply of new homes declined to 4.5 months at September’s sales rate from 4.7 months in August. By region, sales in September fell only in the Midwest. Despite the gain in September, the pace of new home sales remains relatively low compared with a peak of almost 1.4 million in 2005.