In the Santa Barbara, CA market, closings of new homes slid year-over-year in May, and the percentage decline was steeper than April 2016, suggesting the market may be worsening. New home closings saw a drop of 63.0% from the year earlier to 17. This followed a 42.3% fall year-over-year in April.

A total of 365 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in May, down from 394 for the year that ended in April.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 5.2%. This is down from the 10.4% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year decline in April, closings of new and existing homes also slid year-over-year in May.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes climbed year-over-year in May to $630,647 per unit, a rise of 1.9%. This gain compares to a 23.3% decline in April from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes fell year-over-year in contrast to the average price of new homes. In May 2016, average mortgage size on new homes sold was $389,449, down 8.6% from a year earlier. In April 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 13.5% fall from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. Single-family home closings grew from 78.3% of new closings in May 2015 to 88.2% of closings in May 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 11.8% of closings from 21.7% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size rose 29.7% year-over-year to 1,896 square feet in May 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,423 square feet in April 2015 to 2,147 square feet in April 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in May, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 9.6% of existing home closings, below 10.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 3.8% in May from 5.0% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 5.0% of existing home closings in May 2015 to 5.8% in May 2016.

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