In August, there was an increase in closings of new homes in the Billings, MT market year-over-year, and there were signs that the market may be improving as the percentage hike was better than July 2015. New home closings saw a boost of 25.0% from the year earlier to 25. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 4.2% boost year-over-year in July.
A total of 306 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, up from 301 for the year that ended in July.
Of 359 total closings, 25 were of new homes. This is a surge from 5.5% of closings a year earlier. After increasing in July from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes remained level in August.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of new homes increased year-over-year 31.6% in August to $317,034 per unit. This lift is an improvement over the 7.7% surge in July year-over-year.
Average mortgage size on new homes climbed year-over-year along with new home prices. In August 2015, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 29.6% boost from a year earlier. In July 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 5.8% gain year-over-year from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Closings of attached units, as a percentage of new home closings, have climbed from last year while closings of single-family homes have fallen. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units jumped from 10.0% of closings in August 2014 to 20.0% of closings in August 2015. Meanwhile, single-family home closings as a percentage of all new home closings dropped to 80.0% of closings from 90.0% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes gained 16.7% year-over-year to 2,219 square feet in August 2015. In July, the average size of new homes sold went from 1,846 square feet a year earlier to 1,798 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in August, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 5.4% of closings, below 8.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 2.1% in August from 4.1% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 3.3% from 4.4% a year earlier.