In March, the Las Cruces, NM market saw a decline year-over-year in new home closings, and there were signs the market may be worsening with a percentage drop steeper than that of February 2016. New home closings saw a 23.8% fall from a year earlier to 32. This was after the housing market saw a 3.1% fall year-over-year in February.

A total of 448 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 458 for the year that ended in February.

New home closings made up 11.3% of overall housing closings. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings made up 14.7% of total closings. Closings of new and existing homes remained steady in March after rising in February year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In March, the average value of new homes saw a 15.5% hike year-over-year as it grew to $226,039 per unit. This surge is better than the 4.2% boost in February year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size grew year-over-year along with new home prices. In March 2016, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 12.0% rise from a year earlier. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 1.2% drop 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 represented all of new home closings while attached unit closings have accounted for no part of closings.

There was a move in the average unit size of newly sold homes from 1,892 square feet in March 2015 to 1,896 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,824 square feet in February 2015 to 1,809 square feet in February 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings rose in March from a year earlier and did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 19.4% of existing home closings, higher than 17.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 8.2% in March 2015 to 7.5% in March 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings gained to 11.9% from 9.1%.

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