The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) says applications for new home
purchases suffered a significant downturn in November but remain well above the
level of activity at the same time in 2019. MBA’s Builder Application Survey
(BAS) shows a 16 percent decline in applications from October to November. This
does not include any seasonal adjustment. Applications were up 34.7 compared to
November 2019. Based on the applications and other data, MBA estimates new single-family
home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 827,000 units during
the month, a decrease of 10.8 percent from the October pace of 927,000 units.
On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimates that there were 59,000 new home sales in
November 2020, down 15.7 percent from 70,000 sales in October. “November new home sales activity, both mortgage applications and home
sales, ran at a pace considerably ahead of 2019, showing the ongoing strong
growth in housing demand and new residential construction,” said Joel Kan,
MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting.
“However, MBA estimates that after climbing to a new survey high in
October, the seasonally adjusted pace of new home sales declined in November.
Signs of a slowdown in the economic recovery likely contributed to the expected
monthly decrease in activity.”