The Blog ofThe Daniel J. Smith Team

March increase in new-home applications align with seasonal pattern

Mortgage applications for purchases of new homes jumped 14% month over month in March, according to Builder Application Survey data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

On a year-over-year basis, however, new-home applications during the month slipped 2.6%. Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at MBA, said the strong activity recorded in January and February may have pulled some of the applications forward.

“We did, however, see the third straight month-over-month increase, which is in line with the typical seasonal pattern at this time of the year,” Kan said. “Our estimate of new-home sales for March was 682,000 units, a rebound of almost 8% after a February decrease.”

Conventional loans accounted for the largest share of loan applications by product type at 71.2% of total activity. FHA loans composed 15.4%, and RHS/USDA loans made up 1.4%. VA loans composed 11.9%. March also recorded a decrease in the average loan size for new homes to $337,597 from $338,078 in February.

New single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 682,000 units in March, according to MBA estimates. The seasonally adjusted estimate is an increase of 7.9% from the February pace of 632,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 65,000 new-home sales in March, an increase of 18.2% from 55,000 new-home sales in February.