Applications for New Home Purchases Increased Slightly in April

CONTACT
Ali Ahmad
aahmad@mba.org
(202) 557- 2727

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 15, 2015) - The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for April 2015 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 0.3 percent relative to the previous month. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

"Applications were essentially flat in April, but March and April builder applications were at their highest levels since we began tracking them in August 2012. On a year over year basis, applications to builders for new home mortgages were up 16 percent," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Chief Economist. "Although our survey indicates there was likely a slight decrease in new homes sales in April, we had seen increased activity earlier in the year, so borrowers who were able to enter the market got a head start on the traditional spring buying season."

By product type, conventional loans composed 67.0 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 18.8 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 1.4 percent and VA loans composed 12.8 percent. The average loan size of new homes increased from $314,394 in March to $315,670 in April, its highest level in the history of the survey.

The MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 487,000 units in April 2015, based on data from the BAS. The new home sales estimate is derived using mortgage application information from the BAS, as well as assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for April is a decrease of 4.5 percent from the March pace of 510,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 48,000 new home sales in April 2015, a decrease of 2 percent from 49,000 new home sales in March.

MBA's Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the country. Utilizing this data, as well as data from other sources, MBA is able to provide an early estimate of new home sales volumes at the national, state, and metro level. This data also provides information regarding the types of loans used by new home buyers. Official new home sales estimates are conducted by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis. In that data, new home sales are recorded at contract signing, which is typically coincident with the mortgage application.

For additional information on MBA's Builder Applications Survey, please click here.

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