The Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN market saw a rise in new home closings in December year-over-year, and the market showed suggestions of strengthening as the percentage boost turned out sharper than November 2015. New home closings saw a 21.3% rise from a year earlier to 439. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 14.0% climb year-over-year in November.

A total of 4,695 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 4,618 for the year that ended in November.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings represented 8.4%. A year ago, 7.7% of total closings were new home closings. Following a year-over-year increase in November, closings of new and existing homes also gained year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In December, the average price of newly sold homes climbed 4.1% year-over-year to $415,634 per unit. This boost is smaller than the 10.4% surge in November year-over-year.

In December 2015, average mortgage size on new homes went from $340,148 in December 2014 to $338,705 in December 2015. Average mortgage size jumped 11.4% in November 2015 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

There has been little change in the composition of the market with regard to the types of properties sold. From a year ago, single-family home closings have moved from 87.0% of new home closings to 86.8% of closings while attached units have gone from 13.0% of closings to 13.2% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell 5.1% year-over-year to 2,784 square feet in December 2015. For newly sold homes, an average size fall contrasting with an average price gain was also seen in November 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes declined 3.7% to 2,523 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,619 square feet in November 2014 to 2,523 square feet in November 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in December, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 19.4% of existing home closings, down from 25.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 7.3% in December from 10.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 12.2% from 14.9% a year earlier.

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