In the Merced, CA market, new home closings increased year-over-year in January, but the increase was less than December 2015. New home closings moved from 5 a year earlier to 19 after the figure moved from 8 in December 2014 to 33 in December 2015.

A total of 231 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, up from 217 for the year that ended in December.

New home closings were 19 of the 180 total closings, up on a percentage basis from 5 of 177 a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in December, closings of new and existing homes also grew year-over-year in January.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average value of newly sold homes in January 2016 was $269,316, down from last year's $320,300. This came after a 10.5% drop in December from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a decline year-over-year from $265,013 to $238,251. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $318,562 in December 2014 to $258,499 in December 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 January 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in January, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 24.8% of existing home closings, down from 25.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 6.2% in January from 11.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings grew to 18.6% from 14.5%.

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