In the Fort Walton Beach, FL market, closings of new homes fell year-over-year in April, but compared with March 2016, the percentage fall was less steep, hinting the market may be strengthening. New home closings saw a drop of 36.0% from the year earlier to 16. This was after the housing market saw a 51.5% drop year-over-year in March.

A total of 257 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 266 for the year that ended in March.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 3.7%. This is a decline 5.1% of closings a year earlier. For new and existing homes, closings declined in April after also declining in March year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes grew year-over-year in April to $359,925 per unit, a rise of 10.7%. This hike is higher than the 6.1% surge in March year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes fell year-over-year in contrast to the average price of new homes. In April 2016, average mortgage size slid 14.2% from a year earlier to $256,577. In March 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 1.4% drop from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a percentage of new home closings, attached unit closings have climbed from last year while single-family home closings have dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units grew from no part of closings in April 2015 to 12.5% of closings in April 2016. Meanwhile, single-family home closings as a percentage of all new home closings fell to 87.5% of closings from all of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size dropped 12.8% year-over-year to 2,256 square feet in April 2016. For newly sold homes, an average size drop contrasting with an average price gain was also seen in March 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes fell 9.5% to 2,031 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,244 square feet in March 2015 to 2,031 square feet in March 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in April, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 21.5% of closings, below 35.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 6.7% in April from 15.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 14.8% from 20.1% a year earlier.

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