Closings of new homes gained year-over-year in March in the St. George, UT market, but the percentage lift, which was less than February 2016, seemed to suggest market leveling. New home closings saw a 23.5% jump from a year earlier to 100. This followed a 42.6% rise year-over-year in February.
A total of 934 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 915 for the year that ended in February.
New home closings accounted for 19.8% of overall housing closings. This is a surge from 15.6% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year decline in February, closings of new and existing homes also fell year-over-year in March.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of new homes dropped 10.3% year-over-year in March to $302,764 per unit. This fall is larger than the 7.6% decline in February from a year earlier.
The average mortgage size on newly sold homes moved south year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. Average mortgage size dropped by 11.7% from a year earlier, settling at $257,893 in March. Average mortgage size slid 3.1% in February 2016 from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
As a percentage of new home closings, attached unit closings have risen from last year while single-family home closings have dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units rose from 8.6% of closings in March 2015 to 20.0% of closings in March 2016. At the same time, the share belonging to single-family homes sank to 80.0% of closings from 91.4% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes increased 2.4% year-over-year to 2,190 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 1,957 square feet a year earlier to 2,277 square feet. For newly sold homes, an average size hike contrasting with an average price drop was also seen in February 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes fell 16.4% to 2,277 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 7.1% of closings, below 14.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 3.0% in March from 7.3% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 4.2% from 7.6% a year earlier.