The annual rate of new house sales in the United States fell unexpectedly in September.
The Commerce Department said sales fell by 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 402,000 houses, down from a revised 417,000 in August.
The BBC reports this was the first fall in the rate of sales since March.
The median sales price of $US204,000 was down by 9.1% from $US225,200 a year earlier.
Some analysts argue that the housing sector has been supported by an $US8,000 tax credit for first-time buyers introduced by the federal government to boost demand for houses. This credit is due to expire on 30 November.