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August New Home Purchase Mortgage Applications Up Nearly 21%

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for August 2023 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 20.6% compared from a year ago. Compared to July 2023, applications increased by 4%. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

“There was strong purchase demand in August for newly constructed homes, as existing for-sale inventory remains low with most homeowners locked into lower mortgage rates and unwilling to give those rates up in this higher rate market,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s VP and Deputy Chief Economist. “Despite the 30-year fixed rate averaging over 7% in August, applications for new home purchase loans increased over the month and from a year ago.”

MBA estimates new single-family home sales, which has consistently been a leading indicator of the U.S. Census Bureau’s New Residential Sales report, is that new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 702,000 units in August 2023.

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 seasonally adjusted estimate for August is an increase of 3.7% from the July pace of 677,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimates that there were 59,000 new home sales in August 2023, an increase of 5.4% from 56,000 new home sales in July.

By product type, conventional loans composed 65.8% of loan applications, FHA loans composed 23.8%, RHS/USDA loans composed 0.2% and VA loans composed 10.2%.

“The FHA share of applications dipped slightly in August but remains close to survey highs, indicating that a larger share of first-time homebuyers is supporting the new home sales market," said Kan. "Our estimate of new home sales showed a 4% increase to the strongest pace of sales in three months at 702,000 units.”

In addition, the average loan size for new homes increased from $397,148 in July to $398,092 in August.

To read the full report, including more data and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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