Single-family housing completions in April were at a rate of 918,000, a 4.1 percent drop from the revised March rate of 957,000. Privately-owned housing completions in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,312,000, down 1.4 percent from the revised March estimate of 1,331,000 but 5.5 percent above the April 2018 rate of 1,244,000.
The MBA estimated new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 722,000 units in April, up by 6.8 percent from the March pace of 676,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, MBA estimated that there were 69,000 new home sales in April, an increase of 4.5 percent from 66,000 new home sales in March. The average loan size of new homes increased from $331,794 in March to $338,745 in April, while conventional loans composed 70.7 percent of loan applications, followed by FHA loans at 17.1 percent and VA loans at 11.5 percent.
“There was a healthy increase in new home purchase activity in April, boosted by the strong economic and employment conditions seen in the first quarter of 2019,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Applications for new home purchases increased, as did our estimate for new home sales. After two months of declines, MBA estimates that April new home sales were 10 percent higher than last April and reached the highest annual pace since this survey’s inception in 2013.”
“Modestly weaker consumer spending and manufacturing data, along with continued jitters around trade policy, caused interest rates to decline throughout the yield curve,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “While signals from the financial markets are flashing caution signs, the real economy remains on solid ground with steady job growth and five-decade low unemployment rates, which will drive up home sales this summer.”