MBA: December New Home Purchase Applications Up 2% From Year Ago

Mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 2 percent in December from a year ago but fell by 14 percent from November, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning.  

The MBA Builder Application Survey said by product type, conventional loans composed 67.5 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 18.5 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 0.9 percent and VA loans composed 13.1 percent. The average loan size of new homes increased from $329,389 in November to $331,354 in December.  

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

“Mortgage applications for new single family homes increased on a year over year basis in every month of 2016, with December displaying the thinnest margin over 2015,” said MBA Vice President of Research and Economics Lynn Fisher. “However, growth in applications set a high benchmark in December 2015, and it is not yet clear if the recent rise in interest rates is having an impact on applications for new homes.”  

MBA estimated new single-family home sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 478,000 units in December, an 18.7 percent decrease from November (588,000). On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimated 35,000 new home sales in December, a decrease of 14.6 percent from 41,000 new home sales in November.  

The new home sales estimate is derived using mortgage application information from the BAS, as well as assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors.   

“Looking forward to 2017, MBA continues to forecast more than 10 percent growth in single family housing starts,” Fisher said.  

The MBA Builder Application 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