The Commerce Department reported this morning (Feb. 27) that new home sales in January fell to their lowest level since 1995. Sales fell 2.8% from December to a seasonally adjusted rate of 588,000, 33.9% below January a year ago.

The good news was that the drop was significantly lower than the downwardly revised November-to-December drop of 4% (down from 4.7%). The bad was that the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate fell from 605,000 in December to 588,000 in January, which is only 8,000 home above the low reached in April, 1995.

The median sales price of a new home in January also fell, to $216,000, down marginally from $219,200 in December. The average sales price was up, however, to $276,600 from $267,300 in December.

Inventory of homes for sale fell to 482,000 from 495,000 in December, but the supply of homes for sale rose to 9.9 months from 9.6 in December due to the lower seasonally adjusted sales rate in January.

Regionally, on a month-over-month basis, sales were down 10.3% in the Northeast; 7.6% in the Midwest and 2.4% in the South. Sales in the West, however, were up 2.2%.

On a year-over-year basis, regionally, sales were down across the board, with the Northeast down -16.1%, the Midwest off 56.0%, the South down 34.8% and the West off 16.5%.