Closings of new homes declined year-over-year in March in the New Orleans, LA market, and the decline was by a larger percentage than the February 2016. New home closings moved from 42 a year earlier to 10 after the figure moved from 26 in February 2015 to 10 in February 2016.

A total of 294 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 326 for the year that ended in February.

On a percentage basis, new home closings as a part of total closings decreased to 0.7% from 3.1% a year earlier. Following a year-over-year rise in February, closings of new and existing homes slid year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average value of newly sold homes in March 2016 was $331,903, down from last year's $350,541. This was on the heels of a 52.4% drop in February from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size moved to $208,031, down from last year's $256,401. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $328,699 in February 2015 to $215,839 in February 2016.

Other Market Trends

The share of new home closings made up by attached units has risen while the share belonging to single-family homes has fallen.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 24.3% of existing home closings, below 28.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 10.6% in March from 12.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 13.6% from 16.0% a year earlier.

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