While applications for mortgages to
finance newly constructed homes fell slightly in September they continued to
increase in three large Sunbelt states. The
Mortgage Bankers Association's Builder Application Survey (BAS) for the month
was down 1 percent nationwide but increased from August by 5.6 percent in
Texas, 1.6 percent in Florida, and 15.5 percent in California. On an Annual basis the BAS rose in Texas and
Florida by 12.4 percent and 10.7 percent respectively but fell by 5.1 percent
Breaking the BAS down by loan types,
68.4 percent of the applications were for conventional loans, 16.6 percent for
FHA and 13.9 percent for VA loans.
Slightly over 1 percent were for RHS/USDA loans. The average size of a loan increased from $284,392
in August to $289,650 in September.
Using BAS information (which is not
seasonally adjusted) and other market assumptions MBA projects that sales of
new single family homes were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
459,000 units in September and that on an unadjusted basis there were 36,000
new homes sales. Although mortgage
applications were down for the month an increase in the expected number of cash
sales led to an increase in the overall estimate.
MBA's Builder Application Survey tracks
application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the
country. 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.