In August, there was a drop year-over-year in new home closings in the Des Moines, IA market, but the decline in percentage terms was an improvement from July 2015, suggesting that the market may be evening out. There was a 10.6% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. This was after the housing market saw a 18.7% fall year-over-year in July.
A total of 1,304 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 1,314 for the year that ended in July.
Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 6.5%. This is down from the 7.7% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in July, closings of new and existing homes also climbed year-over-year in August.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average per-unit price of newly sold homes gained year-over-year to $299,571 in August, up 3.6% from last year. This rise is smaller than the 3.7% gain in July year-over-year.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a boost year-over-year along with new home prices. Average mortgage size climbed 6.4% to $254,533 in August from a year earlier. In July 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 8.6% gain year-over-year 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 grew from 86.2% in August 2014 to 97.6% of closings in August 2015. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units dropped to 2.4% of closings from 13.8% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes increased 1.5% year-over-year to 1,762 square feet in August 2015. In July, the average size of new homes sold went from 1,827 square feet a year earlier to 1,661 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in August, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings made up 12.8% of closings, below 21.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 5.7% in August from 10.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 7.1% from 10.9% a year earlier.