Sales fell in the South (-14.2 percent to 301 thousand) and the Northeast (-33.3 percent to 24 thousand) but rose in the West (1 percent to 193 thousand) and the Midwest (15.4 percent to 75 thousand).
The median sales price of new houses sold was $323,000, above $315,200 a year earlier. The average sales price was $382,700, also higher than $357,700 in January of 2017.
The stock of new houses for sale went up 2.4 percent from the previous month to 301 thousand. This represents a supply of 6.8 months at the current sales rate.
Year-on-year, new home sales fell 1 percent.