Closings of new homes slid year-over-year in April in the Baton Rouge, LA market, and there were signals of worsening market conditions as the percentage decline was steeper than March 2016. New home closings saw a drop of 77.3% from the year earlier to 32. This came after a 72.9% drop year-over-year in March.

A total of 808 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 917 for the year that ended in March.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 3.5%. This is a fall 14.2% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes dropped year-over-year in April after also falling in March year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price increased 11.1% year-over-year in April to $275,544 per unit. This surge is an improvement over the 3.4% hike in March year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes gained year-over-year along with new home prices. It climbed 18.8% in April from a year earlier to $257,362. In March 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 4.3% boost year-over-year 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 jumped from 98.6% in April 2015 to all of closings in April 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings declined to no part of closings from 1.4% of closings.

There was a 31.2% drop year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,428 square feet in April 2016. This fall was opposite the price bump, a pattern also seen in March 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes slid 16.6% to 1,728 square feet. In March, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,072 square feet a year earlier to 1,728 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in April, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 16.4% of existing home closings, down from 20.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 7.4% in April from 10.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 9.0% from 10.2% a year earlier.

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