There was a rise in new home closings in the Cedar Rapids, IA market in December year-over-year, and there were suggestions that the market may be gaining momentum as the percentage gain proved better than November 2015. There was a 8.6% jump in new home closings from a year earlier. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 7.1% jump year-over-year in November.

A total of 448 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 445 for the year that ended in November.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 10.6%. This marks a rise from 7.8% of total closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year decline in November, closings of new and existing homes also dropped year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of newly sold homes jumped year-over-year 1.2% in December to $267,371 per unit. This rise is smaller than the 21.3% lift in November year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes saw a drop year-over-year in contrast to prices of new homes. Average mortgage size dropped 5.8% to $211,373 in December from a year earlier. Average mortgage size grew 11.1% in November 2015 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 climbed from 85.7% in December 2014 to 94.7% of closings in December 2015. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 5.3% of closings from 14.3% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size rose 1.9% year-over-year to 1,740 square feet in December 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,700 square feet in November 2014 to 1,824 square feet in November 2015. An increase in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in November 2015 when the average size increased 7.3% to 1,824 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in December, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 12.8% of existing closings, lower than 23.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 4.7% in December from 12.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 8.1% from 11.1% a year earlier.

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