Sales of new, single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 430,000 in October, according to a joint release by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). That’s an increase of 6.2% from September’s revised rate of 405,000 and 5.1% above October 2008’s rate of 409,000. The rate of sales has increased 30.7% since its January low this year and the supply of unsold homes relative to sales has decreased 46% since January. “The rise in new home sales is encouraging. Sales have risen substantially above their low in January, and the inventory of unsold homes has fallen sharply. Low mortgage rates and the extension and expansion of the tax incentive should support continuing sales growth in the coming months,” said Commerce under secretary Rebecca Blank. The median sales price of new homes sold in October was $212,200 and the average was $261,100. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale was 239,000 at the end of October, representing a 6.7-month supply at the current sales rate. Write to Austin Kilgore.