After reporting a notable rebound in new home sales over the two previous months, the Commerce Department released a report on Thursday showing a substantial pullback in U.S. new home sales in the month of January.
The Commerce Department said new home sales plunged by 6.9 percent to an annual rate of 607,000 in January from a revised rate of 652,000 in December.
Economists had expected new home sales to edge down to a rate of 620,000 from the 621,000 originally reported for the previous month.
The report showed a steep drop in new home sales in the Midwest, which plummeted by 28.6 percent, while new home sales in the South and Northeast slumped by 15.1 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, the Commerce Department said new home sales in the West surged up by 27.8 percent during the month.
The median sales price of new houses sold in January was $317,200, down 0.6 percent from $319,100 in December and down 3.8 percent from $329,600 a year ago.
The report also said the estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 336,000, representing 6.6 months of supply at the current sales rate.
Compared to the same month a year ago, the annual rate of new home sales in January was down by 4.1 percent.