HIGHER SALES: U.S. sales of new homes jumped last month to the highest level in more than two years, the latest evidence of a sustained housing recovery that could boost the sluggish economy.
SUSTAINED GAINS: New home sales rose 5.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000. That's the highest since April 2010, when a federal homebuyer tax credit inflated sales. Sales have risen 27.1 percent in the past year.
MORE NEEDED: There are other signs the housing market is recovering, such as rising home prices. But new home sales are still below the 700,000 annual pace that is consistent with a healthy market.