In the Modesto, CA market in March, closings of new homes rose year-over-year, but with a rise less sharp than February 2016, there were suggestions the market may be leveling out. New home closings saw a 42.1% climb from a year earlier to 27. This was after the housing market saw a 87.5% boost year-over-year in February.

A total of 279 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 271 for the year that ended in February.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 4.4%. This is better than the 3.4% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in February, closings of new and existing homes also jumped year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average price of newly sold homes had a 1.1% drop year-over-year to $313,185 per unit in March. This fall compares to a 7.6% gain in February year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size increased year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. It jumped to $281,731 in March, a 2.8% surge. Average mortgage size grew 7.6% in February 2016 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 March 2016. Single-family home closings have accounted for all of new home closings while attached unit closings have represented no part of closings.

There was a 6.2% decline year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,930 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,034 square feet a year earlier to 1,940 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 15.3% of existing home closings, down from 19.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 5.9% in March from 8.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 9.3% from 11.1% a year earlier.

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