New home purchases are expected to be significantly higher in July according to data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Its monthly Builder Application Survey (BAS), indicates that applications for new home purchase mortgages increased by 11 percent month-over-month and were up 3.2 percent from July 2018. These estimates do not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.
"July's strong new home sales increase on a monthly and annual basis was driven by the ongoing decline in mortgage rates, combined with steady housing demand and a still-healthy job market," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "The average loan size decreased last month, likely influenced by the increase in the first-time homebuyer share, as these buyers are likely to choose lower-priced, entry-level homes."
Based on the BAS information and other data, MBA expects new home sales to be at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 754,000 units in July 2019, a 16.7 percent increase from June. In July 2016 the sales rate was 646,000 units. On a non-adjusted basis there were 63,000 homes sold during the month compared to 58,000 in June, an 8.6 percent change..
Conventional loans accounted for 69.1 percent of loan applications, FHA loans for 18.1 percent, and VA and RHS/USDA loans for 11.7 percent and 1.0 percent respectively. The average loan size of new homes decreased from $329,593 in June to $325,457 in July.
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. 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. The July Census Bureau estimate of new home sales will be published on August 23.