The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for November 2023 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 21.8 percent compared from a year ago. Compared to October 2023, applications decreased by 12 percent. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.
“Lending on new construction has been the one bright spot in an otherwise slow year for purchase originations,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s SVP and Chief Economist. “That trend continued in November, with applications to purchase a new home up 22 percent compared to last year, while the purchase market as a whole remains about 20 percent behind last year’s pace. It is also interesting to see that a growing portion of this demand for new homes is being financed by FHA loans. This is a sign that first-time buyers remain a strong force in this market. We are forecasting that lower rates should help to keep this demand strong as we enter the spring homebuying season.”
MBA estimates new single-family home sales, which has consistently been a leading indicator of the U.S. Census Bureau’s New Residential Sales report, is that new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 677,000 units in November 2023. 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 November is a decrease of 5.3 percent from the October pace of 715,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimates that there were 49,000 new home sales in November 2023, a decrease of 10.9 percent from 55,000 new home sales in October.
By product type, conventional loans composed 62.8 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 27.1 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 0.3 percent and VA loans composed 9.7 percent. The average loan size for new homes decreased from $390,225 in October to $390,049 in November.
MBA’s Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders 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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