U.S. sales of new homes fell slightly in October and the September sales pace was slower than initially thought.

The Commerce Department says home sales dipped 0.3 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 368,000. That's down marginally from the 369,000 pace in September, which was revised lower from an initial 389,000.

Sales are still 20.4 percent higher than the same month last year, supporting other data that show the housing market recovering.  Still, new-home sales are well below the annual rate of 700,000 that economists consider healthy.

Sales fell a sharp 32.3 percent in the Northeast, but the government said Hurricane Sandy had only a minimal effect on the housing data because it hit at the end of the month.

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