New single-family home sales dropped 7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000 for December, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens a PDF) released today. After November's report was revised downward from 464,000 to 445,000, this latest report pushes sales lower still. Analysts had expected a fairly steady annual sales rate of 450,000.
On a regional level, Northeast sales plummeted 36.4%, potentially due in part to bad weather -- similar to the "big freeze" that Markit says affected January manufacturing. The South and West regions both saw single-digit dips, while the Midwest made up for the rest with a 17.6% sales increase. In the past 12 months, national sales of new homes have still managed to squeak out a 4.5% gain.
At the current rate of sales, there's an estimated 5.0 months of supply, compared with 4.7 months in November. The median house price increased a slight $1,700 from November to December to hit $270,200.
This latest report follows on the heels of a National Association of Realtors report, which pointed to less-than-expected 1% growth for existing home sales in December.
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
More from The Motley Fool
This New Tax Break Will Be a Lot More Popular Than Most Think
Look for a surprising number of unlikely winners to take advantage.
Why You're Probably Never Getting a Real Raise From Social Security
Why your cost of living adjustment may just disappear.
New Menu Items That Could Arrive at a McDonald's Near You
The world’s largest restaurant chain is mounting a comeback with menu innovation.