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New-home purchase activity remains strong

Applications for mortgages to buy new homes were running higher in September compared to last year even as the pace of application activity and new-home sales tapered off over the month, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported.

New-home mortgage applications rose by 8.2 percent year-over year, but were down by 9 percent over the August level when making no seasonal adjustments, MBA reported. The trade group estimated that new-home sales were running at an annualized pace of 643,000 units in September, up 8 percent year over year, but down 3.9 percent from the August level.  

“Housing demand is still strong even as mortgage rates increase, and as a result, we’re still forecasting for modest growth in purchase origination volume in 2018,” said Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.

By product type, conventional loans composed 71 percent of the loan applications; Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, 16 percent; United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1.1 percent; and Veterans Affairs loans, 11.9 percent. The average loan size for new homes increased to $333,086 in September from $332,801 in August.


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