Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News
New home sales declined 7% in December, the Commerce Department reported Jan. 27.
Sales declined to an annual rate of 414,000 homes from a 445,000 rate the prior month that was weaker than previously reported. The median selling price increased 4.6% from a year ago, to $270,200.
The rate was below economists’ median forecast of 455,000, Bloomberg News reported. For 2013, demand increased 16.4% to 428,000, the most in five years.
Purchases declined in three of four regions, led by a 36.4% drop in the Northeast.
Demand has increased from a record-low 306,000 homes sold in 2011, but it still is below the peak of 1.28 million sold in 2005 during the height of the housing boom, Bloomberg reported.