New home closings increased year-over-year in March in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN market, but there were hints the market may be evening out with a percentage lift shallower than February 2016. Closings moved to 374 in March 2016 from 373 a year earlier. This came trailing the 7.2% hike in February from the year earlier.
A total of 4,828 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 4,827 for the year that ended in February.
New home closings made up 7.7% of overall housing closings. A year ago, 7.1% of total closings were new home closings. Following a year-over-year rise in February, closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in March.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
From March 2015 to March 2016, the average price of newly sold homes went from $396,338 to $395,651. This followed a 3.3% fall in February from a year earlier.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size grew year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In March 2016, average mortgage size grew 2.0% from a year earlier to $329,799. In February 2016, average mortgage size slid 3.9% 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 climbed from 81.2% of new closings in March 2015 to 87.4% of closings in March 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units dropped to 12.6% of closings from 18.8% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes declined 1.8% year-over-year to 2,663 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,850 square feet in February 2015 to 2,694 square feet in February 2016.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop 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 represented 20.5% of closings, below 24.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 6.8% in March from 10.6% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 13.6% of existing home closings in March 2015 to 13.7% in March 2016.