In the Ames, IA market in December, new home closings grew year-over-year, rebounding from a year-over-year decline in November 2015. New home closings moved from 4 a year earlier to 12 after the figure moved from 6 in November 2014 to 4 in November 2015.

A total of 104 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 96 for the year that ended in November.

New home closings were 12 out of 99 total closings, making up 12.1%. This is up on a percentage basis from 4 of 81 a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in November, closings of new and existing homes also jumped year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average value of newly sold homes in December 2015 was $280,955, down from last year's $311,375. This followed a 29.2% decline in November from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a decline year-over-year from $334,677 to $260,195. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $246,879 in November 2014 to $186,637 in November 2015.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in December 2015.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell from 2,464 square feet a year earlier to 995 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in December, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 5.7% of existing home closings, below 6.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 1.1% in December from 5.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings gained to 4.6% from 1.3%.

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