New home closings grew year-over-year in February in the Merced, CA market, but the increase was less than January 2016. New home closings moved from 9 a year earlier to 21 after the figure moved from 5 in January 2015 to 19 in January 2016.

A total of 243 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, up from 231 for the year that ended in January.

New home closings were 21 of the 185 total closings, up on a percentage basis from 9 of 193 a year earlier. Following a year-over-year rise in January, closings of new and existing homes dropped year-over-year in February.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes rose to $309,986 from last year's $297,000. This came after a 15.9% decline in January from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes went from $232,696 a year earlier to $268,880. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $265,013 in January 2015 to $238,251 in January 2016.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in February 2016.

The average unit size of newly sold homes rose from 2,676 square feet a year earlier to 3,036 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in February, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 17.7% of existing closings, lower than 22.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 12.0% in February 2015 to 11.0% in February 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 6.7% from 10.3% a year earlier.

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