New-Home Sales Are Still Ultrahigh. Properties Are Scarce.

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Only 44,000 homes ready for occupants were on the market at the end of October.

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New-home sales remained sky-high in historical terms in October as properties changed hands at a seasonally adjusted annual rate 41.5% above the year-earlier level, according to government data.

Sales slipped 0.3% to an annual rate of 999,000 from a revised September rate of 1,002,000, according to figures the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development released on Wednesday. The consensus call among Wall Street economists was for sales of 972,500.

The last time the October rate exceeded 999,000 was in 2005, before the 2008-2009 financial crisis, according to historical data. Year to date, new home sales are 20.6% higher than last year, according to the data.

Demand for a home has far outstripped supply. While new-home sales are high, the number of homes coming on the market

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