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Today, the U.S. Census Department released its monthly New Residential Home Sales Report for October. It showed a slight monthly decline with sales falling 0.3% since September, but rising 17.2% above the level seen in October 2011 -- though remaining at an historically low level of 368,000 SAAR units.

It's important to recognize that the inventory of new homes appears to now be bouncing around a very low 147,000 units, near the lowest level seen in in at least 47 years, while the median number of months for sale has improved to 5.9.

The monthly supply increased to 4.8 months, while the median selling price increased 5.74%. The average selling price increased 7.89% from the year-ago level.

The following chart show the extent of sales decline to date.

Source: New-Home Sales October 2012: A Slight Monthly Decline