A 32.1 percent drop in home sales in the West pulled the overall number of sales down 9.2 in January, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Consumers are exhibiting caution in the face of some uncertain market conditions,” says NAHB chief economist David Crowe. “The average of the December-January reports shows that housing is moving forward at a modest pace, buoyed by relatively low interest rates and ongoing job creation.”

The inventory of new homes for sale rose to 238,000 in January, which is a 5.8-month supply at the current sales pace and the highest level since October 2009.

Two bright spots in the data were the Northeast and South, where new home sales rose 3.4 percent and 1.8 percent respectively. Sales dropped 5.9 percent in the Midwest.

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