There was a 0.9 percent drop in sales of new homes in January vs. December, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development just reported.
The annual sales rate, 321,000, was still 3.5 percent above the pace of January 2011, however.
And The Associated Press notes that the dip in January from December may have partly been due to the fact that "the government said the final quarter of 2011 was stronger than first estimated."
The wire service adds that "higher sales at the end of last year should bolster the view that the housing market is starting to revive."
Bloomberg News points out that "purchases of new homes in the U.S. exceeded forecasts in January after climbing a month earlier to a one-year high, more evidence the housing market is stabilizing." It says economists expected the report would say sales in January were at a 315,000 annual rate.