There was a rise in new home closings in the Des Moines, IA market in January year-over-year, and there were signs of strengthening market conditions as the percentage lift was an greater than December 2015. There was a 9.2% boost in new home closings from a year earlier. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 1.7% jump year-over-year in December.

A total of 1,580 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, up from 1,572 for the year that ended in December.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 10.3%. New home closings were 10.9% of overall closings last year. For new and existing homes, closings climbed year-over-year in January after also increasing in December year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes sank by 1.5% year-over-year to $306,091 per unit in January. This decline compares to a 7.3% rise in December year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a fall year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In January 2016, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 1.5% drop from a year earlier. Average mortgage size jumped 2.7% in December 2015 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. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes gained from 87.4% in January 2015 to 94.7% of closings in January 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings sank to 5.3% of closings from 12.6% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes went from 1,816 square feet in January 2015 to 1,811 square feet in January 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,717 square feet in December 2014 to 1,942 square feet in December 2015. In December 2015, the average size of newly sold homes grew 13.1% from the year earlier.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in January, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 20.9% of closings, below 33.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 10.0% in January from 18.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 10.9% from 15.6% a year earlier.

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