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Latest Builder Application Survey Indicates Five Percent Spike in Mortgage Apps
May 12, 2014

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for March 2014 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by five percent relative to the previous month. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns. By product type, conventional loans composed 68.4 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 15.8 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 1.6 percent and VA loans composed 14.2 percent. The average loan size of new homes increased from $296,428 in March to $299,094 in April. The MBA estimate of new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 419,000 units in April 2014, 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 BAS market coverage was rebenchmarked this month to an estimate of over 30 percent of annual sales volume based on data from the Census Bureau. The seasonally adjusted estimate for April is an increase of five percent from the revised March pace of 400,000 units. The sales pace for March was initially reported at 479,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 42,000 new home sales in April 2014, an increase of eight percent from 39,000 in March.  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.