In the Ocala, FL market, closings of new homes gained year-over-year in December, and there were signs that the market may be improving as the percentage gain was better than November 2015. Closings climbed 15.2% from a year earlier to 53. This came after a 2.8% jump year-over-year in November.

A total of 377 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 370 for the year that ended in November.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 6.8% of overall housing closings. As a part of the whole, new home closings were 6.3% a year earlier. After dropping in November from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes rose year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes was $232,474 per unit in December, up 2.8%from a year earlier. This bump compares to a 3.5% decline in November from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a lift year-over-year along with new home prices. In December 2015, average mortgage size jumped 13.8% from a year earlier to $189,061. In November 2015, average mortgage size sank 9.5% 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 December 2015. Single-family home closings have made up all of new home closings while attached unit closings have accounted for no part of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size gained 11.5% year-over-year to 2,142 square feet in December 2015. In November, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,038 square feet a year earlier to 2,347 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in December from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 35.0% of existing home closings, below 45.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 18.6% in December from 23.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 16.4% from 22.5% a year earlier.

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