Closings of new homes in the Seattle, WA market grew year-over-year in February, and the percentage lift was better than January 2016, suggesting the market may be strengthening. Closings climbed 6.3% from a year earlier to 587. This was after the housing market saw a 5.3% climb year-over-year in January.

A total of 7,368 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, up from 7,333 for the year that ended in January.

Of the total number of closings, new home closings made up 12.3%. A year ago, new home closings accounted for 11.6%. Closings of new and existing homes remained steady in February after being unchanged in January from a year earlier.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes was $585,932 per unit in February, up 10.4%from a year earlier. This gain is higher than the 7.7% surge in January year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a bump year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size saw a 10.6% gain year-over-year to $460,439 in February. In January 2016, average mortgage size grew 5.9% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The share of new home closings made up by attached units has risen while the share belonging to single-family homes has fallen. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units rose from 21.6% of closings in February 2015 to 27.1% of closings in February 2016. Meanwhile, single-family home closings as a percentage of all new home closings fell to 72.9% of closings from 78.4% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size declined 5.0% year-over-year to 2,530 square feet in February 2016. For newly sold homes, an average size drop contrasting with an average price hike was also seen in January 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes fell 5.9% to 2,533 square feet. In January, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,692 square feet a year earlier to 2,533 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in February, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 19.2% of closings, below 24.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 8.5% in February from 11.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 10.7% from 13.9% a year earlier.

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