In the Santa Barbara, CA market, new home closings rose year-over-year in February, bouncing back from a fall in January 2016. There was a 23.5% climb in new home closings from a year earlier. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 43.8% decline year-over-year in January.
A total of 402 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, up from 398 for the year that ended in January.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 8.7%. This is an increase on a percentage basis, as new home closings were 7.4% of total closings a year ago. Closings of new and existing homes grew year-over-year in February after also rising in January year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of newly sold homes fell 25.0% year-over-year in February to $496,286 per unit. This fall is larger than the 7.6% drop in January 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 2.0% to $360,994 in February from a year earlier. In January 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 12.5% hike year-over-year from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. Single-family home closings gained from 58.8% of new closings in February 2015 to 85.7% of closings in February 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings slid to 14.3% of closings from 41.2% of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size gained 43.5% year-over-year to 2,127 square feet in February 2016.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in February, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 10.9% of existing home closings, down from 12.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 6.1% in February 2015 to 5.4% in February 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 5.4% from 6.6% a year earlier.