Though there was a 7.3 percent drop in sales of new homes in December from November, sales were up a healthy 8.8 percent from December 2011, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report.
Homes sold at a annual rate of 369,000 last month.
Over the whole year, the agencies estimate, there were 367,000 new homes sold — up 19.9 percent from the 306,000 sold in 2011.
Reuters says that despite the dip in December from November, housing "still appears set to be a bright spot in the country's economic recovery." And, it notes that:
"Government data for new home sales are subject to substantial revisions. Indeed, the Commerce Department raised its estimate for sales in November by 22,000 to a 398,000-unit rate, making the pace of sales in November the fastest since April 2010."