In the Bakersfield, CA market in March, closings of new homes sank year-over-year, and with a percentage fall steeper than February 2016, there were signals the market may be worsening. There was a 19.9% fall in new home closings from a year earlier. This was after the housing market saw a 3.6% fall year-over-year in February.
A total of 1,761 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 1,792 for the year that ended in February.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 11.1%. This is down from the 14.0% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes jumped year-over-year in March after also rising in February year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of new homes went from $286,309 in March 2015 to $287,862 in March 2016. This was on the heels of a move from $301,037 per unit in February 2015 to $299,062 in February 2016.
Average mortgage size on new homes went from $259,503 in March 2015 to $260,146 in March 2016. It went from $269,248 to $267,020 from February 2015 to 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 made up no part of closings.
There was a 14.6% rise year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,440 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,161 square feet a year earlier to 2,445 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. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 22.0% of closings, below 27.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 9.8% in March from 12.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 12.2% from 15.6% a year earlier.