In September, new home sales were 29.8 percent higher than they were at the same time last year, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The data shows sales up 3.1 percent from the month before and at their second-highest level since the recovery began. That’s good news for the housing market because any increase in new home sales helps spur more new home construction, which raises for-sale inventory and moderates price increases on all homes up for sale. As it is, the median price of a new home sold in September was $313,500; the average sales price was $377,700. And, with the number of new homes for sale lower than the month before, prices will likely continue to rise in the near term. Still a more favorable labor market and low mortgage rates have helped balance higher prices and kept buyer demand high. As an example, economists and analysts predicted a sales decline for September, making the results both unexpected and a good indication that potential home buyers aren’t being deterred by higher prices. More here.