WASHINGTON — Sales of new single-family houses were down 0.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000 in January, the Commerce Department reported Friday.

The January rate was above the 315,000 median annual rate projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, but below the revised December rate of 324,000. The rate was 3.5% above the January 2011 level of 310,000.

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