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e) House prices also eased as the median cost of a new home fell 2.1 per cent from a year ago to $239,800.
f) The pace of sales fell to 937,000 from a rate of 1.1m the previous month, while inventories of unsold homes stood at 537,000.
a) Stephen Stanley, chief economist at RBS Greenwich Capital, said: "Builders will probably have to continue to work off bloated stocks of finished homes for most of 2007."
b) Americans bought far fewer new homes last month, according to government data released on Wednesday that showed sales fell at the fastest rate in 13 years.
c) However, the Federal Reserve views the overhang of unsold homes as cause for concern but remains cautiously optimistic the sector is stabilising and will not derail the economy.
d) The biggest drop was in the west, where sales fell 37 per cent to an annual rate of 166,000.