In December, closings of new homes in the Tucson, AZ market gained year-over-year, but with a rise less sharp than November 2015, there were suggestions the market may be evening out. New home closings saw a jump of 5.6% from the year earlier to 132. This followed a 45.3% climb year-over-year in November.
A total of 1,464 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 1,457 for the year that ended in November.
New home closings accounted for 8.5% of overall housing closings. A year earlier, new home closings accounted for 9.2% of total closings. For new and existing homes, closings increased year-over-year in December after also increasing in November year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In December, there was a 6.8% surge year-over-year in the average price of newly sold homes, reaching $272,863 per unit. This lift is smaller than the 7.0% rise in November year-over-year.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a surge year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size saw a 5.5% gain year-over-year to $232,732 in December. Average mortgage size rose 7.4% in November 2015 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. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes climbed from 92.0% in December 2014 to 97.7% of closings in December 2015. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings slid to 2.3% of closings from 8.0% of closings.
There was a 13.1% bump year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,428 square feet in December 2015. An increase in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in November 2015 when the average size jumped 5.6% to 2,453 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,323 square feet in November 2014 to 2,453 square feet in November 2015.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in December, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 24.3% of existing home closings, below 29.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 11.9% in December from 14.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 12.4% from 15.4% a year earlier.