WASHINGTON — Sales of new single-family houses were down 2.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 307,000 in December, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

The December rate was below the 321,000 median annual rate projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters and the revised November rate of 314,000.

New home sales rose in the Northeast by 46.7% and in the West by 9%, but they fell in the South by 10.1% and by 3.7% in the Midwest.

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