In the Baton Rouge, LA market in January, new home closings fell year-over-year, but there were signals the market may be stabilizing with a percentage fall less steep as in December 2015. New home closings saw a drop of 59.1% from the year earlier to 36. This came on the heels of a 69.9% drop year-over-year in December.
A total of 1,086 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, down from 1,138 for the year that ended in December.
Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 5.9%. This is down from the 11.0% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in January after also falling in December year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of new homes rose year-over-year in January to $265,294 per unit, a rise of 10.0%. This hike follows a move from $261,322 per unit in December 2014 to $261,746 in December 2015.
Average mortgage size on new homes increased year-over-year along with new home prices. It climbed 5.3% in January from a year earlier to $227,344. In December 2015, average mortgage size gained 4.2% 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 January 2016. Single-family home closings have accounted for all of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up no part of closings.
There was a 5.2% hike year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,213 square feet in January 2016. In December, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,199 square feet a year earlier to 2,294 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings increased in January from a year earlier and did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 20.8% of existing home closings, up from 20.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 11.0% in January from 9.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 9.8% from 10.8% a year earlier.