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October New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Decrease 2.1 Percent
press release, Mortgage Bankers Association

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for October 2018 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased 2.1 percent from a year ago. Compared to September 2018, applications increased by 11 percent. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

"While we have seen some monthly swings in new home sales in 2018, the year-to-date average sales pace is around seven percent higher than the same period in 2017. Additionally, the average loan size for a new home purchase application, at around $332,000, was at its lowest since July 2017. This is potentially a sign that there has been some additional inventory in the new home market, and that the rapid price growth in some geographies is starting to ease," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting.

MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 units in October 2018, 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 October is an increase of 4.7 percent from the September pace of 643,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 53,000 new home sales in October 2018, an increase of 6 percent from 50,000 new home sales in September.

By product type, conventional loans composed 70.9 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 17.1 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 0.7 percent and VA loans composed 11.2 percent. The average loan size of new homes decreased from $333,086 in September to $331,732 in October.

MBA's Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the country. Utilizing this data, as well as data from other sources, MBA is able to provide an early estimate of new home sales volumes at the national, state, and metro level. This data also provides information regarding the types of loans used by new home buyers. Official new home sales estimates are conducted by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis. In that data, new home sales are recorded at contract signing, which is typically coincident with the mortgage application.

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