In the Houston, TX market in April, new home closings sank year-over-year, and the percentage decline, which was steeper than March 2016, gave suggestions of weakening market conditions. Closings slid 13.7% from a year earlier to 1,851. This came after a 2.3% decline year-over-year in March.
A total of 25,262 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 25,556 for the year that ended in March.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 18.0%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 19.2% of total closings. Following a year-over-year decline in March, closings of new and existing homes also declined year-over-year in April.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In April, the average price of newly sold homes climbed 1.8% year-over-year to $324,919 per unit. This gain is smaller than the 1.9% surge in March year-over-year.
The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a bump year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size rose to $278,363 in April, marking a 1.7% hike compared with a year earlier. Average mortgage size grew 1.9% in March 2016 from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
There has been little change in the composition of the market with regard to the types of properties sold. From a year ago, single-family home closings have moved from 98.4% of new home closings to 97.9% of closings while attached units have gone from 1.6% of closings to 2.1% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes gained 2.4% year-over-year to 3,043 square feet in April 2016. In March, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,943 square feet a year earlier to 3,151 square feet. An increase in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in March 2016 when the average size increased 7.1% to 3,151 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in April, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, represented 11.7% of existing closings, lower than 14.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 6.7% in April 2015 to 6.2% in April 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 5.6% from 7.6% a year earlier.