Sales of new single-family homes plunged 14.7% to a 331,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in December, according to data released by the Commerce Department yesterday.

The December figure came after a downwardly revised 388,000 rate in November, a 4.4% drop originally reported as a 2.9% decrease to 407,000. Thomson Reuters’ poll of economists had predicted a 400,000 sales level for December.

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