The numbers: U.S. new home sales rose 7.5% to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 632,000 in October from a revised 588,000 in the prior month, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.
Analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast new-home sales to fall to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 570,000.
The data are often volatile. Sales in September were initially reported at 603,000.
Key details: The median sales price of new houses sold in October jumped to a record $493,000, up from $455,700 in the prior month.
The supply of new homes for sale rose 1.5% between September and October, equating to a 8.9-month supply at the current sales pace. This is up from a 5.7-month supply in January.
Regionally, sales rose sharply in the Northeast and the South but dropped in the Midwest and the South.
Big picture: New home sales continue to buck the trend in many housing indicators. With the Federal Reserve continuing to raise interest rates, affordability has been declining. There could be some buyers rushing to complete purchases before homes get even more expensive. Other analysts point to a high cancellation rate for new home sales that is not reflected in the data.
Market reaction: Stocks