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January 25, 2013 10:05 AM, EST
New Home Sales Fall 7.3%

New home sales declined 7.3% in December, the Commerce Department said Friday.

Sales fell to a 369,000 annual rate, from a revised 398,000, which was higher than originally reported, Commerce said.

The December rate was below economists’ median forecast of 385,000, Bloomberg News reported.

For all of 2012, new home sales increased 19.9%, the biggest jump since 1983, Bloomberg reported.

Purchases fell 29.4% in the Northeast and also fell 11.1% in the West and 8.4% in the South. Purchases rose 21.3% in the Midwest.

Rising home sales can mean more business for flatbed trucking companies, which haul building materials, and dry van freight carriers, which haul household appliances and furniture.