US new home sales soar to highest level in a decade

This Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, photo shows a new home for sale in a housing development in Raeford, N.C. On Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017, the Commerce Department reports on sales of new homes in September. (AP Photo/Swayne B. Hall)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes jumped last month to the highest level since October 2007. It’s a sign that Americans, unable to find existing homes, are turning to new construction.

The Commerce Department says new home sales leapt 18.9 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000, the most in a decade. Sales rose in all regions, including the South, where they increased nearly 26 percent.

The government says it couldn’t estimate what impact, if any, last month’s hurricanes had on the data.

A supply crunch of existing homes has frustrated many would-be buyers and hobbled the housing market this year. September’s figures suggest that Americans are increasingly looking to new homes instead, which could encourage more construction. Yet developers have struggled to keep up with demand.