New-home sales slip 7.3%

Sales of new single-family homes in December slipped 7.3% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000, according to data released Friday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

The month-to-month decline follows by one week a buoyant report that showed a double-digit percent increase in residential construction. Compared with a year ago, new home sales increased 8.8%. 

The median sales price of new houses sold in December 2012 was $248,900, up from $245,600 in November. The average sales price was $304,000, up from $289,900 in November. 

The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 151,000. This represents a supply of 4.9 months at the current sales rate.

An estimated 367,000 new homes were sold in 2012. This is 19.9% above the 2011 figure of 306,000. 

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