The annual rate of new home sales increased 6.6% in September, according to the monthly home sales report [.pdf] released today. Also, each home sold has typically been on the market for 8.7 months and the median sales price for each home was $223,800 in September. Despite the 6.6% increase of new home sales, remember home sales in August were at a record low. Additionally, the chart below shows how home sales in September 2010 are 21.5% lower than September 2009 – indicating the past year has weakened the housing sector. Still, though, the 6.6% increase is an improvement and is attributable to favorable buying conditions. Not only are mortgage rates at record lows, but home prices have also fallen for 2 straight months.