Hurricanes drag down new-home purchase apps in September

by Francis Monfort16 Oct 2017
Mortgage applications for new-home purchases recorded a year-over-year decline in September, reflecting the effects of the recent hurricanes, according to the Builder Applications Survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Applications fell 7.5% from their September 2016 level. Compared to August, applications declined 20%. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

"Applications for new-home purchases were down year over year in large part due the impacts of hurricane activity," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's vice president of research and economics. "In particular, monthly applications fell by 37% in Florida and 11% in Texas, which account for a large share of the applications in the survey."

Conventional loans accounted for 72.3% of all applications, while FHA loans composed 13.9%. RHS/USDA loans made up 1%, while VA loans composed 12.7%. New-home loans had an average size of $334,722 in September, down from the $334,940 average in August.

MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 units in September. The figure is down 12.8% from the pace of 655,000 units in August. New-home sales in September were estimated at 42,000 on an unadjusted basis, which is a decline of 19.2% from the 52,000 new-home sales in August.

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