Mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 3.0% compared with January and were up 4.6% compared with February 2017, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Builder Applications Survey (BAS).
“Mortgage applications for new homes continued to grow in February on a year over year basis, although at a slower pace of just under five percent, as brisk activity in January likely pulled forward some buyer activity,” says Lynn Fisher, vice president of research and economics for the MBA, in a release. “Combined, applications in January and February were up by 11 percent relative the same period last year. On a seasonally adjusted annual basis, our February estimate of new home sales based on mortgage applications came in at 632,000, ahead of the January Census estimate of 593,000 new homes sales, and back on trend following an uptick from hurricane-related rebuilding.“
About 70.8% of applications were for conventional loans. About 15.7% were for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration while 12.4% were for Veteran Affairs loans and about 1.1% were for Rural Housing Service/U.S. Department of Agriculture loans.
The average loan size for a new home in February was $338,078, down from $338,918 in January.
The MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 632,000 units in February – a decrease of 9.7% compared with the January pace of 700,000 units.
On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 55,000 new home sales in February, an increase of 1.9% from 54,000 in January.