In May, there was a drop year-over-year in new home closings in the Lincoln, NE market, and with a percentage decline steeper than April 2016, there were signs the market may be worsening. Closings declined 41.9% from a year earlier to 43. This came after a 26.3% drop year-over-year in April.

A total of 583 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in May, down from 614 for the year that ended in April.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 6.9%. This is a fall 10.0% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year decline in April, closings of new and existing homes also slid year-over-year in May.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes increased year-over-year in May to $291,930 per unit, a rise of 12.8%. This surge is better than the 8.9% boost in April year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes climbed year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size saw a 5.9% surge year-over-year to $242,682 in May. In April 2016, average mortgage size grew 7.7% 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 rose from 68.9% of new closings in May 2015 to 86.0% of closings in May 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units fell to 14.0% of closings from 31.1% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 7.9% year-over-year to 1,546 square feet in May 2016. In April, the average size of new homes sold went from 1,598 square feet a year earlier to 2,006 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings rose in May from a year earlier and did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 7.5% of existing home closings, up from 7.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 4.1% in May from 2.8% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 4.3% of existing home closings in May 2015 to 3.4% in May 2016.

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