The Santa Barbara, CA market saw an increase in closings of new homes in August year-over-year, but the percentage edged up less than July 2015, suggesting the market may be leveling out. There was a 42.4% boost in new home closings from a year earlier. This was after the housing market saw a more than twofold hike year-over-year in July.

A total of 398 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, up from 384 for the year that ended in July.

New home closings accounted for 13.2% of overall housing closings. This marks a rise from 10.2% of total closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes climbed year-over-year in August after also rising in July year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price slid 8.2% year-over-year in August to $577,870 per unit. This fall is a drop off from the 12.2% decline in July from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a decline year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. Average mortgage size declined 16.4% to $421,708 in August from a year earlier. Average mortgage size declined 3.9% in July 2015 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The percentage of new home closings belonging to single-family homes has risen from last year while the portion of new home closings belonging to attached units has dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes jumped from 66.7% in August 2014 to 68.1% of closings in August 2015. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 31.9% of closings from 33.3% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 22.3% year-over-year to 1,467 square feet in August 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,777 square feet in July 2014 to 717 square feet in July 2015. A fall was also seen in July 2015 when the average size of new homes sold slid 59.7% to 717 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in August, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 9.4% of existing closings, lower than 9.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 5.2% in August 2014 to 4.5% in August 2015 and REO closings moved from 4.5% of existing home closings in August 2014 to 4.8% in August 2015.

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