Applications for mortgages for new home purchases decreased 14% in March compared to February and were down 2.6% compared to March 2017, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS).
The monthly report does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.
By product type, applications for conventional loans composed 71.2% of loan applications for new home purchases, while Federal Housing Administration loans composed 15.4%, Rural Housing Service/U.S. Department of Agriculture loans composed 1.4% and Veterans Affairs loans composed 11.9%.
The average loan size for a new home purchase in March was $337,597 down from $338,078 in February.
“Applications taken for new home purchases decreased year over year in March,” says Joel Kan, Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “We saw a strong January and February, and that may have pulled some activity 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.
“Our estimate of new home sales for March was 682,000 units, a rebound of almost eight percent after a February decrease,” Kan adds.
The MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 682,000 units in March, an increase of 7.9% compared with 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 in February.