US new-home sales drop 7.8 percent in January to 593,000

By FeaturesAssociated Press

Sales of new U.S. homes fell in January for the second straight month, failing to rebound from a weather-related drop in December.

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The Commerce Department says last month's sales came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000, lowest since August and down 7.8 percent from a revised 643,000 in December.

Economists had expected new home sales to bounce back after tumbling in December as harsh winter weather chilled demand.

Sales skidded 33.3 percent in the Northeast in January from December and 14.2 percent in the South. But they rose 15.4 percent in the Midwest and 1 percent in the West.

The median price of a new home dropped to $323,000, down 4.1 percent from $336,700 in December.