New home sales fell 9.2% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.106 million units, according to new figures released by the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.The decline is in comparison with December's revised sale number of 1.218 million units. Compared with the level recorded a year earlier, sales fell 4.2%. The government also reported a 4.7-month supply of new homes in January, the highest reading in well over a year. RBS Greenwich Capital Markets analyst Michelle Girard called January's sales figure "weaker than expected," but cautioned that harsh winter weather likely exacerbated the decline. She also noted that the government sometimes substantially revises its numbers, calling the data "volatile and unreliable."

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