There was an increase in new home closings in the Merced, CA market in March year-over-year, but the increase was less than February 2016. New home closings moved from 15 a year earlier to 27 after the figure moved from 9 in February 2015 to 21 in February 2016.
A total of 258 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 246 for the year that ended in February.
Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 9.7%. This is better than the 6.4% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes climbed year-over-year in March following a decline in February year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In March, the average price for new home closings was $305,481, a 1.7% drop from last year. This fall compares to a 4.4% rise in February year-over-year.
The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a fall year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In March 2016, there was a 9.8% decline in the average mortgage size on new homes to $266,362. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $232,696 in February 2015 to $268,880 in February 2016.
Other Market Trends
There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in March 2016. Single-family home closings have represented all of new home closings while attached unit closings have accounted for no part of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes declined 3.2% year-over-year to 2,372 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,676 square feet a year earlier to 3,036 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in March, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 20.6% of existing home closings, down from 22.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 7.7% in March 2015 to 7.9% in March 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 12.7% from 14.5% a year earlier.