Sales of new homes dipped in January but only after the government said the final quarter of 2011 was stronger than first estimated.
The Commerce Department says new-home sales fell 0.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 321,000 homes. That followed four straight months of gains in which home sales rose 10 percent.
The gains came after the government upwardly revised October, November and December's figures. December's annual sales pace of 324,000 was the highest in a year.
Higher sales at the end of last year should bolster the view that the housing market is starting to revive. Still, new homes are selling well below the 700,000-per-year rate that economists equate with healthy markets.