New-home purchase mortgage apps surge in January

by Francis Monfort15 Feb 2018

Mortgage applications for new home purchases spiked 34% month over month in January and jumped 18.4% on a year-over-year basis, according to Builder Application Survey data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

The monthly change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

"Mortgage applications for new homes surged in January and were up 18% on a year-over-year basis," MBA Vice President of Research and Economics Lynn Fisher said. "This complements other positive news on US job growth suggesting that economic fundamentals are strong. Based on applications, we estimate that new-home sales were running at a pace of 700,000 on a seasonally adjusted annual basis – the highest such estimate in our survey which began in 2013."

Conventional loans accounted for 71.7% of loan applications, the largest share among all product types. FHA loans made up 15.3%, while VA loans composed 11.7%. RHS/USDA made up 1.2% of all applications. January loan sizes averaged $338,918, down from the $339,203 average in December.

According to MBA estimates based on survey data, January had new single-family home sales running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 700,000 units. The January estimate is up 26.4% from the pace of 554,000 units in December. Meanwhile, MBA estimates 54,000 new-home sales in January on an unadjusted basis, which is up 35% from the December figure of 40,000 new-home sales.

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