Closings of new homes in the Bakersfield, CA market grew year-over-year in September, and the percentage lift was sharper than August 2015, hinting that the market may be strengthening. Closings increased 79.8% from a year earlier to 205. This followed a 31.9% climb year-over-year in August.

A total of 1,746 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in September, up from 1,655 for the year that ended in August.

Of 1,334 total closings, 205 were of new homes. This is a gain from 11.6% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in August, closings of new and existing homes also increased year-over-year in September.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In September, the average price of newly sold homes gained year-over-year to $293,755 per unit, a 1.5% hike. This surge follows a move from $292,176 per unit in August 2014 to $293,267 in August 2015.

The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. In September 2015, there was a 2.3% bump in the average mortgage size, reaching $263,174. Average mortgage size went from $262,668 in August 2014 to $260,113 in August 2015.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in September 2015. Single-family home closings have made up all of new home closings while attached unit closings have accounted for no part of closings.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in September, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 19.9% of closings, below 21.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 10.0% in September from 8.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 9.9% from 13.0% a year earlier.

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