In the Salem, OR market in January, closings of new homes fell year-over-year, but the percentage decline was less than that of December 2015, hinting that the market may be strengthening. New home closings saw a drop of 30.4% from the year earlier to 16. This came on the heels of a 44.7% fall year-over-year in December.

A total of 298 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, down from 305 for the year that ended in December.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 3.5%. This is a fall 5.5% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes climbed year-over-year in January after also rising in December year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price moved from $265,097 in January 2015 to $264,079 in January 2016. This came after a 28.2% boost in December year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes moved south year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In January 2016, average mortgage size slid 12.3% from a year earlier to $207,610. In December 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 18.1% surge year-over-year 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 January 2016. Single-family home closings have made up all of new home closings while attached unit closings have represented no part of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size sank 1.4% year-over-year to 1,993 square feet in January 2016. In December, the average size of new homes sold went from 1,828 square feet a year earlier to 1,983 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to rise in January from a year earlier and remained a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 29.2% of existing home closings, above 28.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 12.8% in January from 14.7% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings gained to 16.4% from 13.9%.

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