The St. Louis, MO market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in December, and there were signals of worsening market conditions as the percentage decline was steeper than November 2015. There was a 76.6% fall in new home closings from a year earlier. This came on the heels of a 76.3% fall year-over-year in November.

A total of 1,745 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 1,971 for the year that ended in November.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings represented 1.5%. This is a fall 6.4% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in November, closings of new and existing homes also increased year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In December, the average price of newly sold homes fell year-over-year to $252,099 per unit, marking a 19.9% fall from the year-earlier figure. This fall is a drop off from the 24.2% decline in November from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a fall year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. It slid to $221,447 in December, a 14.7% drop. In November 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 10.3% fall from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The percentage of new home closings belonging to single-family homes has risen from last year while the portion of new home closings belonging to attached units has dropped. Single-family home closings jumped from 85.1% of new closings in December 2014 to 91.3% of closings in December 2015. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units fell to 8.7% of closings from 14.9% of closings.

There was a 5.8% boost year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,322 square feet in December 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,209 square feet in November 2014 to 1,842 square feet in November 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in December, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 22.4% of existing home closings, down from 25.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 9.3% in December from 12.0% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 13.6% of existing home closings in December 2014 to 13.1% in December 2015.

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