With mortgage credit availability and mortgage applications both up, applications for new home purchases spiked in March, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA said that mortgage applications for new home purchases jumped almost 17 percent from March to February, directly on the heels of findings that mortgage credit availability increased by 2.3 percent and mortgage applications increased by almost half a percent from the week prior. According to the MBA, there were roughly 49,000 new home sales in March, compared to February’s 42 thousand.
The MBA also found that the average loan size of new homes increased by about $3,000 to slightly more than $314,000 in March. Conventional loans made up a full two-thirds of total loan applications, while FHA loans made up a full fifth. Lynn Fisher, MBA's VP of research and economics, said "Overall, applications for new home purchases during the first quarter of 2015 increased 20 percent relative to the first quarter of last year." Fisher credited February’s strong job numbers and low interest rates for boosting the rise in mortgage applications.
CoreLogic’s first look at cash sales in 2015 shows that though cash sales made up 39 percent of all home sales in January, the numbers mark the 25th straight month of declines in non-loan purchases. Since the beginning of 2013, cash purchases have comprised a steadily eroding share of the market en route to pre-crash averages. Prior to 2008, cash sales on average made up a quarter of the sale market nationally. Cash sales reached their peak during the worst of the recession, topping out at 46.5 percent in January 2011.