In the Wichita, KS market, closings of new homes gained year-over-year in May, and with a more robust boost than April 2016, there are hints the market may be strengthening. There was a 21.6% boost in new home closings from a year earlier. This came on the heels of a 7.3% climb year-over-year in April.

A total of 587 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in May, up from 576 for the year that ended in April.

New home closings were 4.2% of total number of closings, same as last year. Following a fall in April year-over-year, closings of new and existing homes climbed year-over-year in May.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In May, the average price of newly sold homes gained 9.6% year-over-year to $286,030 per unit. This surge is better than the 3.3% rise in April year-over-year.

There was a boost year-over-year in the average mortgage size on new homes along with new home prices. The average mortgage size saw a 12.1% surge year-over-year to $243,315 in May. In April 2016, average mortgage size jumped 2.1% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in May 2016. Single-family home closings have represented all of new home closings while attached unit closings have accounted for no part of closings.

There was a 2.3% decline year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,601 square feet in May 2016. For newly sold homes, an average size fall contrasting with an average price bump was also seen in April 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes slid 25.7% to 2,036 square feet. In April, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,740 square feet a year earlier to 2,036 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings rose in May from a year earlier and did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 14.9% of existing home closings, above 12.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 7.9% in May from 3.3% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 7.0% from 9.5% a year earlier.

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