Sales of new single-family homes plunged 10.2% to a 309,000 seasonally adjusted annual rate in January, according to data released by the Commerce Department yesterday.

The January figure came after a downwardly revised 344,000 rate in December, a 9.5% drop. Thomson Reuters’ poll of economists had predicted a 330,000 sales level for January.

Sales of new homes were 48.2% below the 597,000 rate in January 2008, Commerce reported. The supply of new homes at the current sales rate grew to 13.3 months from 12.2 months in December. At the end of January, the number of new homes on the market decreased to 342,000 from 353,000.

The unadjusted average price of a new single-family home dropped to $234,600 from $260,200. Meanwhile, the unadjusted median price fell to $201,100 from $223,200 in the previous month.

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