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Report: New residential home sales down 12.6 percent in January

For new home sales, January was a slow month.

For new home sales, January was a slow month.

The month of January is typically a slow one in the real estate and moving industry, and based on the estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the month lived up to its rather infamous distinction.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sales of new single-family houses totaled 284,000 at a seasonally adjusted annual rate last month. This is nearly 13 percent below the rate of new home sales in December - 325,000, which was revised from its previous estimate - and nearly 19 percent below the rate of new home sales in January 2010.

This latest report seems to re-emphasize the contrasting nature of the real estate market in regards to its overall strength. Single family home sales were down last month, but existing home sales were up, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The U.S. Commerce Department says housing starts increased 15 percent last month, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that the number of housing units actually finished down 10 percent in January.