Mortgage applications for new home purchases in March increased by 15% over February, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s builder application survey shows.
This bit of good news comes on the heels of news from the MBA that lenders have made a mere $226 billion of mortgages in the first quarter of 2014, which is the lowest amount since 1997 and not even one-third of the pre-crisis, 2006 average pace.
Black Knight Financial Services measure shows originations are at their lowest level since 2000.
Conventional loans composed 68.3% of loan applications, FHA loans composed 17.2%, RHS/USDA loans composed 1.6% and VA loans composed 12.9%.
The average loan size of new homes increased from $295,008 in February to $296,428 in March.
The MBA estimates sales of new single-family homes were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 479,000 units in March 2014, based on data from the BAS.
The estimated sale pace for March is a decrease of 10.1% from the February pace of 533,000 units.
Wednesday MBA will release the weekly report on mortgage applications, which have been declining for a month straight.
Lending has been in a steep decline mortgage rates started ticking up at the start of the third quarter of 2013 on talk of a tapering of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program, which is now down to $55 billion in purchases a month.