MBA: New home purchases jump 29%

Low interest rates drive sales higher

Mortgage applications for new home purchases jumped by 29% compared to the previous month, according to the January Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Application Survey. This does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

The MBA’s Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of homebuilders across the country.

“On the strength of an improving labor market and low interest rates, January new home sales were up nearly 30% from December,“ said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of Research and Economics. “Relative to a year ago, new home sales were up 2.6% on an unadjusted basis.”

Broken up by product, conventional loans composed 67.2% of loan applications, FHA loans composed 18.2%, RHS/USDA loans composed 1.1% and VA loans composed 13.4%.

The average loan size of new homes dropped from $311,398 in December to $304,364 in January.

In addition, the MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 units in January 2015, based on data from the BAS.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for January is an increase of 29.6% from the December pace of 409,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 39,000 new home sales in January 2015, an increase of 39.3% from 28,000 new home sales in December.

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