Mortgage Applications 33% Higher Than Year Ago

Mortgage applications for new home purchases in August were up 33 percent over a year ago, though were slightly lower than in July, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association monthly Builder Application Survey released Tuesday.

The seasonally adjusted estimate for August decreased 2.1 percent from the July pace. On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimates that there were 68,000 new home sales in August 2020, a decrease of 5.6 percent from 72,000 new home sales in July. 

Conventional loans composed 69.1 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 19.2 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 1.1 percent and VA loans composed 10.5 percent. The average loan size of new homes increased from $345,929 in July to $348,576 in August.

“The housing market continued to exceed expectations in August, as housing demand for new homes stayed strong and the job market continued to recover,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Despite economic uncertainty and the pandemic’s distortion to typical seasonal patterns, the comparisons to August 2019 show strength.”