Sales of new U.S. single-family houses likely climbed in October, but forecasts varied widely on the impact of the first-time homebuyer tax credit, a Reuters survey found.

New home sales rose by about 2 percent last month to 410,000 units on a seasonally adjusted annual basis from 402,000 in September, the poll of 70 economists found.

Estimates spanned broadly between a drop to 370,000 and an increase to 430,000, however.

The Commerce Department will report the sales figures on Wednesday at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT).

Sales dropped by 3.6 percent in September, the first downturn after five straight monthly increases.

(Reporting by Lynn Adler; Polling by Bangalore Polling Unit; Editing by James Dalgleish)