WASHINGTON — U.S. new home sales fell slightly in September with all regions of the country except the Midwest showing declines.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that sales of new homes fell 0.7% last month following a big 6.2% surge in sales in August. Homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 701,000, 15.5% higher than a year ago.

Many economists had expected sales to keep rising in September, reflecting declining mortgage rates and ultra-low unemployment.

The median price of a new home fell 7.9% last month to $299,400, down from an August price of $325,200.

The only region to post a sales gain was the Midwest, where sales rose 6.3%. Sales in the West fell 3.8% and were down 2.8% in the Northeast and a slight 0.2% in the South.

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