Mortgage applications for new-home purchases in April decreased 10.6% compared with a year ago, according to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS). Compared with March, applications decreased by 14%.
“New-home purchase activity declined on a monthly and annual basis in April, as the spike in mortgage rates cooled demand and home builders continued to grapple with rising costs, supply chain issues, and extended completion timelines,” says Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “With the supply of existing homes on the market still at extremely low levels, the new-home market is an important source of housing supply. However, the pace of construction has slowed in recent months. MBA’s estimate of new-home sales declined for the fifth consecutive month to 701,000 units, the slowest sales pace since May 2020.”
The MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 701,000 units in April, a decrease of 6.8% compared with the March pace of 752,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 65,000 new-home sales in April, a decrease of 12.2% from 74,000 new-home sales in March.
By product type, conventional loans composed 76.7% of loan applications, FHA loans composed 13.1%, RHS/USDA loans composed 0.2%, and VA loans composed 10.1%. The average loan size of new homes increased from $436,151 in March to $436,576 in April.
“The average loan size increased to a new survey high of $436,576, and over half of applications were for loan amounts greater than $400,000,” adds Kan. “Higher rates and sales prices and larger loan sizes are eroding housing affordability and pricing some buyers out of the market.”