There was a rise in new home closings in the Ames, IA market in March year-over-year, but the increase was less than February 2016. New home closings moved from 6 a year earlier to 9 after the figure moved from 3 in February 2015 to 8 in February 2016.

A total of 107 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 104 for the year that ended in February.

New home closings were 9 of the 117 total closings, up on a percentage basis from 6 of 111 a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in February, closings of new and existing homes also rose year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of new homes was $261,900, compared with $265,583 last year. This came after a 12.4% boost in February year-over-year.

From the year-ago figure of $200,609, the average mortgage size on new homes moved up to $222,365. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $234,667 in February 2015 to $296,233 in February 2016.

Other Market Trends

As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have risen from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen.

There was a move in the average unit size of newly sold homes from 1,649 square feet in March 2015 to 1,653 square feet in March 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings rose in March from a year earlier and did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, represented 13.0% of existing home closings, higher than 12.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 4.6% in March from 6.7% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings gained to 8.3% from 5.7%.

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