WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Sales of new single-family houses in the United States plummeted more than 8 percent in October, indicating U.S. home buyers' caution about the property market and the economic outlook, a Wednesday U.S. Commerce Department report revealed.
Sales of new single-family houses last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 283,000 units, 8.1 percent below the revised 308,000 units in September, and were 28.5 percent below the October 2009 estimate of 396,000 units, said the department.
The average sales price of new houses sold in October was 248, 200 U.S. dollars, down nearly 8 percent from September, according to the report.
Single-family housing starts accounted for more than 70 percent of the total new home construction including houses and apartment buildings in the United States.
The U.S. housing industry is suffering its worst slump in decades. The severe housing downturn and a persisting credit crunch has been a major drag on the overall economy.
Analysts held that the performances of the U.S. housing market in recent months were heavily influenced by a government tax incentive, under which new home buyers could take advantage of tax credits of up to 8,000 dollars. Buyers initially had to close their purchases by June 30, but Congress extended the deadline to the end of September.