January New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Jump 43%, But Flat from Year Ago

MBA NewsLink Staff  

February 14, 2019


The Mortgage Bankers Association said this morning its Builder Applications Survey data for January showed mortgage applications for new home purchases jumped by 43 percent from December but was unchanged from a year ago.

The changes do not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.  

By product type, conventional loans composed 68.7 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 18.6 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 0.5 percent and VA loans composed 12.2 percent. The average loan size of new homes decreased from $334,944 in December to $334,532 in January.  

"After two lackluster months, new home sales surged...in January to the fastest pace in our survey, dating back to 2013," said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Despite the jitters potential homebuyers felt in December from the volatility in the financial markets, the healthy job market and wage growth, moderating price gains and lower mortgage rates all helped home sales recover. Additionally, builders seem to be seeing improvement in their labor shortages, as recently released government survey data showed increases in construction hiring and openings in December."   

MBA estimated new single-family home sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 713,000 units in January, based on data from the BAS, an increase of 29.2 percent from the December pace of 552,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimated 54,000 new home sales in January, an increase of 45.9 percent from 37,000 new home sales in December.    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 MBA Builder Applications Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the country. Using these data, as well as data from other sources, MBA provides an early estimate of new home sales volumes at the national, state and metro level. These data also provide information regarding types of loans used by new home buyers. Official new home sales estimates are conducted by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis. In those 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, click https://www.mba.org/news-research-and-resources/research-and-economics/single-family-research/builder-applications-survey.

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