The December sales estimate was 7.3 percent below the revised November rate of 398,000, but 8.8 percent above December 2011.
The median sales price of new houses sold in December was $248,900; the average was $304,000.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of December was 151,000, or a supply of 4.9 months at the current sales rate, the joint report said.
An estimated 367,000 new homes were sold in 2012. That was 19.9 percent above 2011.
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Jeff Geoghan blogs weekly about the local residential real estate market. Read his latest posts here.