In the Santa Barbara, CA market, new home closings fell year-over-year in September, but compared with August 2016, the percentage fall was less steep, hinting the market may be strengthening. New home closings saw a 43.6% fall from a year earlier to 22. This came after a 61.7% fall year-over-year in August.

A total of 270 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in September, down from 287 for the year that ended in August.

New home closings made up 6.1% of overall housing closings. This is down from the 10.4% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year rise in August, closings of new and existing homes slid year-over-year in September.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price moved from $519,013 in September 2015 to $515,136 in September 2016. This was on the heels of a 17.4% decline in August from a year earlier.

For newly sold homes, average mortgage size moved from $399,033 in September 2015 to $401,574 in September 2016. In August 2016, average mortgage size sank 4.0% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have climbed from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes jumped from 74.4% in September 2015 to 95.5% of closings in September 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings declined to 4.5% of closings from 25.6% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes climbed 24.0% year-over-year to 2,100 square feet in September 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,839 square feet in August 2015 to 1,397 square feet in August 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in September, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 6.5% of existing home closings, below 9.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 3.0% in September 2015 to 3.3% in September 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 3.3% from 6.0% a year earlier.

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