New home closings slid year-over-year in January in the St. Louis, MO market, and there were suggestions of weakening market conditions with a percentage fall steeper than that of December 2015. Closings slumped 81.6% from a year earlier to 28. This came after a 76.6% drop year-over-year in December.

A total of 1,622 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, down from 1,746 for the year that ended in December.

New home closings accounted for 0.8% of overall housing closings. This is a decline 4.3% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes remained steady in January after rising in December year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price gained 12.0% year-over-year in January to $331,360 per unit. This surge compares to a 18.0% drop in December from a year earlier.

Along with new home prices, there was an increase year-over-year in the average mortgage size on newly sold homes. The average mortgage size rose to $269,853 in January, marking a 14.6% rise compared with a year earlier. In December 2015, average mortgage size dropped 13.0% 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. Single-family home closings rose from 85.5% of new closings in January 2015 to 89.3% of closings in January 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 10.7% of closings from 14.5% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 15.4% year-over-year to 1,807 square feet in January 2016. In December, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,195 square feet a year earlier to 2,322 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in January from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 29.7% of closings, below 33.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 16.6% in January 2015 to 16.4% in January 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 13.3% from 16.5% a year earlier.

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