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Jan 27, 2014 10:48 AM by Associated Press

US sales of new homes drop 7 percent in December

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. sales of new homes slipped in December for a second consecutive month but even with the pause at the end of the year, sales for all of 2013 climbed to the highest level in five years.

The Commerce Department says sales of new homes dropped 7 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000. In November, sales had fallen 3.9 percent.

For the whole year, sales were up 16.4 percent to 428,000, the highest level since 2008.

It marked the second year that sales have risen after six consecutive annual declines as the housing industry was rocked by the collapse of a housing bubble. Sales of new homes peaked at 1.28 million in 2005. Analysts expect further sales gains in 2014.

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