U.S. new-home sales dropped to the lowest level on record in December, with 23,000 Americans purchasing new homes during the month. Home sales for 2008 dropped to an annual pace of 331,000, lower than economists' estimates for the year. "New homes are getting cheaper, but you can't get credit so you can't buy," said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight.

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