The Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly released their monthly report on new home sales early Wednesday morning.

The report showed new home sales declined once again, this time to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 588,000 units. The revised December figure was 605,000 houses for a month-over-month drop of 2.8 percent. The January 2008 figure is 33.9 percent below the January 2007 estimate of 890,000 sales.

Regional sales in January were down 10.3 percent in the Northeast, 7.6 percent in the Midwest, 2.4 percent in the South and 2.2 percent in the West.

At the end of January there were an estimated 482,000 houses available for sale nationally. At the current rate of sales this represents a 9.9 months supply. In December there were 493,000 homes on the market, a 9.5 months supply. In January 2007 the 536,000 homes then available represented only a 7.2 months supply. Of the 482,000 homes currently for sale, 195,000 are completed and have spent a median time period of 6.7 months on the market since completion. One year ago the median marketing period was 4.3 months.

The median sales price of new homes in January was $216,000 compared to $225,600 in December and $254,400 in January 2007. The average sales price for each respective period was $276,600, $274,700, and $314,600.