Sales of new single-family houses fell 12.6 percent in January from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 284,000, the Census Bureau says.
That pace is also 18.6 percent below January 2010's rate.
While the figures are adjusted to account for normal seasonal fluctuations, The Associated Press says that unusually bad winter weather last month "likely hampered some sales." Still, the wire service adds, "the industry has been struggling since the housing bubble burst in 2006" and this report signals that the problems continue.
According to Bloomberg News, sales "fell more than forecast ... reflecting declines in the West and South that indicate a California tax credit and bad weather may have played a role."