The Palm Bay, FL market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in January, and there were signals the market may be weakening with a percentage decline steeper than December 2015. There was a 19.4% drop in new home closings from a year earlier. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 12.6% drop year-over-year in December.

A total of 1,068 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, down from 1,080 for the year that ended in December.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings represented 5.0%. A year ago, new home closings represented 4.8%. For new and existing homes, closings sank in January after also declining in December year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In January, the average price of newly sold homes climbed year-over-year to $292,194 per unit, a 13.9% rise. This boost is smaller than the 17.5% bump in December year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a lift year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size rose to $272,253 in January, marking a 22.9% gain compared with a year earlier. In December 2015, average mortgage size gained 15.8% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The percentage of new home closings belonging to single-family homes has risen from last year while the portion of new home closings belonging to attached units has dropped. Single-family home closings jumped from 93.5% of new closings in January 2015 to 98.0% of closings in January 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings slid to 2.0% of closings from 6.5% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 15.7% year-over-year to 1,822 square feet in January 2016. This fall was opposite the price rise, a pattern also seen in December 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes declined 2.6% to 2,137 square feet. In December, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,193 square feet a year earlier to 2,137 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in January from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 32.8% of existing home closings, below 48.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 15.9% in January from 27.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 16.9% from 21.3% a year earlier.

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