In May, the Baton Rouge, LA market saw a drop year-over-year in new home closings, but the percentage drop was not as steep as April 2016, suggesting market improvement. New home closings saw a 39.4% fall from a year earlier to 60. This came on the heels of a 77.3% decline year-over-year in April.

A total of 769 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in May, down from 808 for the year that ended in April.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 5.6%. This is down from the 9.9% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes rose year-over-year in May following a fall in April year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of newly sold homes grew year-over-year 15.1% in May to $298,914 per unit. This bump is an improvement over the 11.1% gain in April year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a rise year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size rose to $260,621 in May, marking a 12.7% lift compared with a year earlier. Average mortgage size climbed 18.8% in April 2016 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 May 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 dropped 34.7% year-over-year to 1,503 square feet in May 2016. This decline was opposite the price boost, a pattern also seen in April 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes slid 31.2% to 1,428 square feet. In April, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,075 square feet a year earlier to 1,428 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in May, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 12.6% of existing closings, lower than 16.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 5.6% in May from 7.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 7.0% from 9.3% a year earlier.

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