Mortgage applications for new home purchases fell by 0.4% in December compared with November, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association Builder Application Survey.

Conventional loans totaled 70.8% of loan applications, FHA loans - 15.3%, RHS/USDA loans - 1.2% and VA loans - 12.7%. The average loan size of new homes increased to $311,398 in December from $306,975 in November.

The MBA estimates new single-family home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 409,000 units in December, based on data from the survey. The new home sales estimate is derived using mortgage application information from the survey, and assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for December is an increase of 2% from the November pace of 401,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 28,000 new home sales in December, unchanged from November.

MBA’s Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the U.S. Using the data, as well as data from other sources, MBA offers an early estimate of new home sales volumes at the national, state and metro level. The data also provides information regarding the types of loans used by new home buyers.

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.

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