There was an increase in closings of new homes in the Seattle, WA market in September year-over-year, and the percentage gain was sharper than August 2015, hinting that the market may be strengthening. Closings increased 13.9% from a year earlier to 573. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 8.4% hike year-over-year in August.

A total of 7,129 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in September, up from 7,059 for the year that ended in August.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 8.6% of overall housing closings. A year ago, 8.4% of total closings were new home closings. For new and existing homes, closings climbed year-over-year in September after also increasing in August year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of newly sold homes gained year-over-year to $577,115 in September, up 10.1% from last year. This hike is smaller than the 25.0% lift in August year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a bump year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size rose to $434,575 in September, marking a 7.1% bump compared with a year earlier. In August 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 16.3% boost year-over-year from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The share of new home closings made up by attached units has risen while the share belonging to single-family homes has fallen. Attached unit closings increased from 13.3% of all closings in September 2014 to 23.6% of closings in September 2015. Conversely, the share belonging to single-family homes sank to 76.4% of closings from 86.7% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size slid 10.6% year-over-year to 2,327 square feet in September 2015. This decline was opposite the price surge, a pattern also seen in August 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes dropped 8.3% to 2,377 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,592 square feet in August 2014 to 2,377 square feet in August 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in September, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 14.3% of existing closings, lower than 20.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 6.6% in September from 9.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 7.7% from 11.4% a year earlier.

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