Sales of new single-family houses in October 2015 beat expectations and came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 495,000, according to estimates released jointly Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

This is 10.7% above the revised September rate of 447,000 and is 4.9% above the October 2014 estimate of 472,000.

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(Source: Stifel)

Lindsey Piegza, chief economist for Stifel Fixed Income, noted that this month’s rise helped offset a 12.9% decline the month prior.

The median sales price of new houses sold in October 2015 was $281,500, while the average sales price was $366,000.

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of October was 226,000. This represents a supply of 5.5 months at the current sales rate.

“New home sales remain volatile month-to-month, but with a positive upward trajectory, albeit slightly less positive than that seen in existing home sales activity.  Consumers continue to purchase new homes, however, with muted income growth and still lingering uncertainty, the pace of home purchases remains positive but subdued,” said Piegza. 

“Going forward, housing is likely to continue to be a positive contribution to headline activity although limited.  Housing is no longer the driver of the economy as it once was although it is also no longer the large net drag on headline activity that it once was,” continued Piegza.