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MBA: New-home sales pick up to end summer

Mortgage applications for new-home purchases dropped in August and was running behind the level a year ago, but the pace of sales has picked up, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported.

Applications fell by 2 percent over the month and were down 4.6 percent year over year, MBA said.

MBA said sales of new homes, however, increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 669,000 units in August, up 5 percent from the July pace of 637,000 units. This was the second consecutive monthly increase.

"Low inventory of homes for sale has been an issue this year, and newly constructed units have been one way to ease the shortage,” said Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Growth in August was focused in the lower price tiers. In fact, for the first time in four months, monthly growth was driven by the lower half of the market, based on application size." 

On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimated 53,000 new-home sales in August, which was unchanged from July. 


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