MBA: Applications for new home purchases dropped in July

Decline tracks with drop in purchase apps on rate worries

Mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased by 4% in July relative to the previous month, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday.

“Mortgage applications to home builder subsidiaries for new homes declined at a rate in line with the slowdown observed in the overall purchase mortgage market,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “This was driven in part by an increase in interest rates relative to earlier in the spring. Nonetheless the number of builder applications was still up 15% compared to a year ago.”

By product type, conventional loans composed 63.4% of loan applications, FHA loans composed 18.8%, RHS/USDA loans composed 4.9% and VA loans composed 12.9%. The average loan size of new homes decreased from $321,678 in June to $316,995 in July.

The MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 534,000 units in July 2015, 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 July is an increase of 7.7% from the June pace of 496,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 44,000 new home sales in July 2015, a decrease of 2.2% from 45,000 new home sales in June.

MBA’s Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of homebuilders 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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