In the Fort Smith, AR market, new home closings dropped year-over-year in December, and the decline was similar to November 2015. New home closings moved from 4 a year earlier to 2 after the figure moved from 4 in November 2014 to 2 in November 2015.

A total of 31 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 33 for the year that ended in November.

New home closings were 2 out of the 330 total closings, a move on a percentage basis from 4 of 373 a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in December after also falling in November year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of new homes was $138,000, compared with $143,435 last year. This followed a 22.8% hike in November year-over-year.

The average mortgage size went down to $112,000 from $129,401 a year earlier. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $108,085 in November 2014 to $103,475 in November 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 December 2015.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell from 1,568 square feet a year earlier to 1,382 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to increase in December from a year earlier and stayed a drag on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 35.7% of existing home closings, up from 28.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 18.6% in December from 13.6% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings jumped to 17.1% from 14.6%.

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