There was a rise in new home closings in the Seattle, WA market in January year-over-year, moving north after a drop in December 2015. There was a change in new home closings from 423 a year earlier to 426 in January 2016. This came trailing the 11.9% drop in December from the year earlier.

A total of 7,084 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, up from 7,081 for the year that ended in December.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 10.6% of overall housing closings. As a part of the whole, new home closings were 10.4% a year earlier. After rising year-over-year in December, closings of new and existing homes slid year-over-year in January.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In January, the average price of newly sold homes gained 8.7% year-over-year to $591,310 per unit. This surge is higher than the 4.3% hike in December year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size gained year-over-year along with new home prices. In January 2016, average mortgage size climbed 6.5% from a year earlier to $471,994. Average mortgage size gained 7.3% in December 2015 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a percentage of new home closings, attached unit closings have risen from last year while single-family home closings have dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units climbed from 13.5% of closings in January 2015 to 16.2% of closings in January 2016. Conversely, the share belonging to single-family homes sank to 83.8% of closings from 86.5% of closings.

There was a 5.2% fall year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,565 square feet in January 2016. For newly sold homes, an average size decline contrasting with an average price lift was also seen in December 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes slid 2.7% to 2,638 square feet. In December, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,712 square feet a year earlier to 2,638 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in January, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 25.0% of existing home closings, below 32.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 13.7% in January from 17.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 11.3% from 15.2% a year earlier.

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