Sales of new single-family homes fell 7.3% for December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 369,000, according to a Commerce Department report [link opens in PDF] released today. Market analysts had expected a 2.5% drop from November's revised 398,000 rate, but the Department's December figure came in a solid 4.9% below estimates.


On a regional basis, the Midwest improved the most month-to-month (+21.3%), while Northeast sales slumped 29.4% for December.

The median sales price improved $3,300 in December to reach $248,900. At the current rate of new homes for sale, there is an estimated 4.9 months of supply.

Long-term trends continue to point up. Compared to December 2011, these newest numbers represent an 8.8% increase in new sales. For the 2012 year, an estimated 367,000 new homes were sold, 19.9% more than were sold than in 2011.