In September, closings of new homes in the Santa Barbara, CA market rose year-over-year, but with an increase less steep than that of August 2015, the market seemed to be showing signs of leveling out. New home closings saw a hike of 14.7% from the year earlier to 39. This came on the heels of a 42.4% hike year-over-year in August.

A total of 409 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in September, up from 404 for the year that ended in August.

Of the total number of closings, new home closings made up 10.5%. They made up 10.7% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in August, closings of new and existing homes also rose year-over-year in September.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes slid 8.3% year-over-year in September to $519,013 per unit. This drop is larger than the 8.2% decline in August from a year earlier.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size increased year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. The average mortgage size saw a 2.0% gain year-over-year to $399,033 in September. Average mortgage size sank 16.4% in August 2015 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. Single-family home closings grew from 70.6% of new closings in September 2014 to 74.4% of closings in September 2015. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units sank to 25.6% of closings from 29.4% of closings.

There was a 17.1% decline year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,507 square feet in September 2015. A drop was also seen in August 2015 when the average size of new homes sold slid 22.3% to 1,467 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,889 square feet in August 2014 to 1,467 square feet in August 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in September, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 8.8% of existing home closings, down from 12.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 3.0% in September from 4.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 5.7% from 7.4% a year earlier.

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