MBA: Annual Pace of New Home Sales Down 20 Percent Since October 2020


The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for May 2021 shows that applications for new home purchases decreased 5.9 percent compared from a year ago.

Compared to April 2021, applications decreased by 9 percent.

“Mortgage applications to purchase a new home decreased in May for the second straight month, while the average loan size, at $384,000, increased for the fourth consecutive month and reached a new survey high,” says Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Loan balances continue to rise because of a larger share of sales in the higher end of the market, as well as increased sales prices from strong demand and elevated building material costs. 

“MBA’s estimate of new home sales showed that the seasonally adjusted annualized pace of sales dropped 4 percent in May,” he adds. “Since reaching a survey-high 927,000 units in October 2020, the annual pace of new home sales has now fallen around 20 percent, weighed down by low housing inventory and rising prices.” 

The MBA estimates that new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 741,000 units in May 2021, 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 May is a decrease of 3.8 percent from the April pace of 770,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 68,000 new home sales in May 2021 – a decrease of 5.6 percent from 72,000 new home sales in April.

By product type, conventional loans comprised 73.9 percent of loan applications, FHA loans 14.8 percent, RHS/USDA loans 0.9 percent and VA loans 10.4 percent.

The average loan size of new homes increased from $377,434 in April to $384,323 in May.

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