The Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday that applications for new home purchases fell 0.4 percent month-over-month in December. Despite the drop in applications, the MBA estimates that new home sales in December came to an unadjusted 28,000, flat from November, while the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate moved up 2 percent to 409,000 as cash sales make up the difference.
The Commerce Department estimated last month that new home sales in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 438,000, well above the MBA's prediction of 401 thousand. The government's estimate for December new home sales, due January 27th, will include a revision for November that could bring the two estimates more in line with each other.
The share of all-cash home sales continued its streak of annual declines in October but remain elevated compared to where they were before the crisis, according to data released Wednesday. In a post on the company's blog site, CoreLogic estimated that cash transactions accounted for 35.5 percent of total home sales in October 2014, down from 38.7 percent the year prior. At the current rate of decline, CoreLogic estimates the share of cash sales will be back down to pre-crisis levels by the end of 2017.