In the Santa Barbara, CA market, closings of new homes climbed year-over-year in March, but with a rise less sharp than February 2016, there were suggestions the market may be leveling out. Closings rose 8.0% from a year earlier to 27. This was after the housing market saw a 23.5% rise year-over-year in February.

A total of 405 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 403 for the year that ended in February.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 7.8%. As a part of the whole, new home closings were 6.8% a year earlier. Following a year-over-year rise in February, closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In March, the average price for new home closings was $452,148, a 36.7% decline from last year. This drop is larger than the 25.0% fall in February from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes moved south year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In March 2016, average mortgage size sank 16.0% from a year earlier to $368,058. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 2.0% decline from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have climbed from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes increased from 48.0% in March 2015 to all of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings dropped to no part of closings from 52.0% of closings.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 9.7% of existing closings, lower than 14.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 3.5% in March from 7.3% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 7.0% of existing home closings in March 2015 to 6.3% in March 2016.

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