In the El Paso, TX market in December, closings of new homes dropped year-over-year, but compared with November 2015, the percentage decline was less steep, hinting the market may be strengthening. There was a 83.7% fall in new home closings from a year earlier. This came on the heels of a 86.4% fall year-over-year in November.

A total of 1,539 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 1,745 for the year that ended in November.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 6.5%. This is down from the 26.2% of closings a year earlier. For new and existing homes, closings slid in December after also declining in November year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes went from $201,530 in December 2014 to $202,486 in December 2015. This followed a 25.7% boost in November year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes went from $185,965 in December 2014 to $186,969 in December 2015. Average mortgage size gained 24.1% in November 2015 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 December 2015. Single-family home closings have accounted for all of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up no part of closings.

There was a 7.1% rise year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,106 square feet in December 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,794 square feet in November 2014 to 1,865 square feet in November 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in December from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 27.8% of existing home closings, down from 29.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 11.7% in December 2014 to 11.4% in December 2015 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 16.5% from 17.6% a year earlier.

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