The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development today released New Residential Home Sales survey data for December 2009.  The survey is primarily based on a sample of houses selected from building permits. Since a “sale” is defined as a deposit taken or sales agreement signed, this can occur prior to a permit being issued.  Some insiders believe that loan modification plans may be hindering home sales, because lenders are extending loan workouts with distressed homeowners.

Changes in sales price data reflect changes in the distribution of houses by region, size, etc., as well as changes in the prices of houses with identical characteristics. It takes four months to establish a trend of new home purchases.

Nationwide Mortgage Loans announces discounted mortgage refinance programs. FHA Allows Home Buyers Tax Credit.  Read more on FHA Loans.

Sales of new single family homes fell 11.3% to an annual pace of 355,000 units. This was much lower than consensus estimates of 440,000 annual sales and 45,000 less than the October print of 400,000, which was revised for the worse from 430,000. This was the slowest pace of new home sales in 7 months and the worst month over month decline since January 2009.