Closings of new homes increased year-over-year in March in the Salt Lake City, UT market, and the market seemed to be hinting at strengthening with a percentage surge more robust than February 2016. New home closings saw a boost of 35.7% from the year earlier to 308. This followed a 6.5% hike year-over-year in February.
A total of 3,289 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 3,208 for the year that ended in February.
Of 2,317 total closings, 308 were of new homes. This is a hike from 9.3% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year decline in February, closings of new and existing homes also declined year-over-year in March.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In March, the average price of newly sold homes rose year-over-year to $363,284 per unit, a 4.8% rise. This bump is smaller than the 9.1% surge in February year-over-year.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a lift year-over-year along with new home prices. In March 2016, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 4.4% gain from a year earlier. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 7.0% 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 rose from 63.9% in March 2015 to 70.8% of closings in March 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units declined to 29.2% of closings from 36.1% of closings.
There was a 11.1% drop year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,912 square feet in March 2016. For newly sold homes, an average size fall contrasting with an average price surge was also seen in February 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes sank 3.0% to 2,005 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,066 square feet in February 2015 to 2,005 square feet in February 2016.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in March, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 8.6% of existing home closings, down from 11.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 3.5% in March from 4.7% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 5.1% from 6.5% a year earlier.