FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Sales of new homes declined sharply in December, reaching the annual rate of 647,000 houses, a decline by 9.0% compared with November, according to the latest information by the Department of Commerce.

The market consensus was a higher annual rate of 720,000 sold houses in December. November's data saw a huge downward revision, with sales printing an annual rate of 711,000 sold houses, below the 728,000 houses initially estimated.

The mean price declined to the level of $293,300 in December from the $307,900 seen in November, while the median price rose to $239,100 from the $229,500 posted the previous month.