In March, the St. Louis, MO market saw a fall year-over-year in new home closings, but the percentage decline, which was less than that of February 2016, gave signals that the market may be evening out. New home closings saw a 82.1% fall from a year earlier to 40. This followed a 87.3% decline year-over-year in February.

A total of 1,304 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 1,487 for the year that ended in February.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 0.8%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings made up 4.7% of total closings. After dropping in February from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes gained year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In March, the average price of newly sold homes rose year-over-year to $345,208 per unit, a 17.8% gain. This surge is smaller than the 23.1% bump in February year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes jumped year-over-year along with new home prices. In March 2016, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 6.5% surge from a year earlier. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 23.9% surge year-over-year 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 87.9% of new closings in March 2015 to 90.0% of closings in March 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units fell to 10.0% of closings from 12.1% of closings.

There was a 13.4% drop year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,833 square feet in March 2016. For newly sold homes, an average size fall contrasting with an average price lift was also seen in February 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes slid 1.2% to 2,217 square feet. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,245 square feet a year earlier to 2,217 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in March, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 23.3% of closings, below 25.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 10.5% in March 2015 to 10.0% in March 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 13.2% from 15.0% a year earlier.

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