There was an increase in closings of new homes in the Des Moines, IA market in February year-over-year, and the percentage bump was better than January 2016, suggesting the market may be strengthening. New home closings saw a 16.3% jump from a year earlier to 100. This came after a 9.2% climb year-over-year in January.

A total of 1,610 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, up from 1,596 for the year that ended in January.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 11.4%. This marks a rise from 9.9% of total closings a year earlier. After increasing in January from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes remained level in February.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price grew 1.4% year-over-year in February to $299,306 per unit. This hike compares to a 1.5% decline in January from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes jumped year-over-year along with new home prices. Average mortgage size gained 1.9% to $241,365 in February from a year earlier. Average mortgage size fell 1.5% in January 2016 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 climbed from 90.7% of new closings in February 2015 to 99.0% of closings in February 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 1.0% of closings from 9.3% of closings.

There was a 4.6% bump year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,850 square feet in February 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,819 square feet in January 2015 to 1,966 square feet in January 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in February, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 20.0% of closings, below 28.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 8.6% in February from 14.6% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 11.4% from 14.2% a year earlier.

Please refer to the ABOUT THIS MSA tab to learn more about geographic coverage and data availability in the Des Moines, IA area.