New home closings in the Baton Rouge, LA market sank year-over-year in August, and there were signs of weakening market conditions with a percentage decline steeper than that of July 2015. There was a 79.1% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 73.1% drop year-over-year in July.
A total of 476 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 544 for the year that ended in July.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 2.4%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings made up 8.3% of total closings. Following a year-over-year decline in July, closings of new and existing homes also declined year-over-year in August.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In August, the average value of new homes saw a 1.2% lift year-over-year as it grew to $247,606 per unit. This boost is smaller than the 12.8% gain in July year-over-year.
The average mortgage size on newly sold homes grew year-over-year along with the average price of new homes. In August 2015, average mortgage size grew 14.7% from a year earlier to $244,263. In July 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 15.9% hike year-over-year from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes gained from 93.0% in August 2014 to 94.4% of closings in August 2015. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units sank to 5.6% of closings from 7.0% of closings.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in August, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 18.2% of existing home closings, down from 20.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 8.0% in August from 10.3% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 10.0% of existing home closings in August 2014 to 10.2% in August 2015.