Mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 15% in March compared to February, on an unadjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS).
Using data from the BAS as well as other sources, the MBA estimates sales of new single-family homes were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 479,000 units in March – down about 10.1% compared to previous forecasts that called for a sale pace of 533,000 units.
Although the annualized rate of new home sales fell short of estimates, sales were nonetheless up in March compared to February. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 46,000 new home sales in March, an increase of 7% from the estimated 43,000 new home sales in February.
About 68.3% of loan applications for new homes in March were for conventional loans, while about 17.2% were for Federal Housing Administration loans, 1.6% for Rural Housing Service/U.S. Department of Agriculture loans and 12.9% for Veteran's Affairs loans. The average loan size of new homes increased from $295,008 in February to $296,428 in March.