New home sales are expecting to post an increase of 15.9
percent in February as compared to the previous month. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said,
on a non-seasonally adjusted basis there were an estimated 51,000 new home
sales during the month, up from 44,000 sales in January. MBA says this would mark gain of 2.2 percent
from February 2016. On a seasonally adjusted basis, MBA estimates the increase
from January to February was 4.3 percent, from an annual rate of 562,000 to
MBA bases its unofficial estimate of sales on its Builder Application Survey which tracks application volume
from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the country, as well
as on assumptions regarding market coverage and other data. Official estimates of new home sales are
reported by the U.S. Census Bureau in conjunction with the Department of
Housing and Urban Development. Their February
report will be issued on March 23.
Builder Application Index posted a modest annual gain in February 2017. The bar
was high as last February was a particularly strong month for applications, as
was March 2016. The surprisingly strong employment numbers for the beginning of
2017 suggest that demand for new homes should continue to grow this year," said
Lynn Fisher, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics. "Additionally,
based on the current reading, we expect seasonally adjusted new home sales to
be up by about 8 percent in February compared to a year ago."
Conventional loans accounted for the majority of applications for new home
purchases, 66.5 percent. FHA loans had an 18.6 percent share, VA loans
13.5 percent, and RHS/USDA loans account for 1.3 percent of applications. The average loan size of new homes increased
from $329,806 in January to $330,208 in February.