NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- New-home sales edged slightly higher last month, as more Americans hunted for bargains in the struggling housing market.
The Census Bureau reported an annual sales rate of 307,000 new homes last month, up 1.3% from a downwardly revised rate of 303,000 homes in September. Compared to new home sales a year ago, October sales were up 8.9%.
The 307,000 rate fell just short of expectations. Economists had forecast a sales rate of 312,000 new homes, according to consensus estimates from Briefing.com.
While the higher rate in October indicated that consumers are chipping away at the huge inventory of homes on the market, there's still a long way to go.
There were about 162,000 new homes on the market by the end of October. That represented a 6.3-month supply at the current rate of sale. The median sale price was $212,300.
Last week, a separate report showed that more house-hunters are also eyeing previously owned homes. Sales of existing homes rose 1.4% in October, slightly more than economists had expected, according to the report.
At the same time, an increasing number of homebuilders are making plans to build houses and breaking ground on new construction, with building permits and housing starts climbing in October, according to a report released earlier this month.
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