In April, closings of new homes rose year-over-year in the Honolulu, HI market, and the percentage gain that was sharper than March 2016 seems to indicate improving market conditions. Closings gained 78.8% from a year earlier to 93. This came after a 56.8% boost year-over-year in March.

A total of 701 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, up from 660 for the year that ended in March.

Of 1,088 total closings, 93 were of new homes. This is a boost from 4.8% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes increased year-over-year in April after also rising in March year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes gained year-over-year 39.1% in April to $895,734 per unit. This lift is smaller than the 69.0% surge in March year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes declined year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In April 2016, there was a 5.8% fall in the average mortgage size on new homes to $535,023. In March 2016, average mortgage size gained 12.7% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. Single-family home closings jumped from 55.8% of new closings in April 2015 to 97.8% of closings in April 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 2.2% of closings from 44.2% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size jumped 7.9% year-over-year to 1,648 square feet in April 2016. An increase was also seen in March 2016 when the average size of new homes sold rose 17.6% to 1,652 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,405 square feet in March 2015 to 1,652 square feet in March 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings increased in April from a year earlier and did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 11.2% of existing home closings, up from 8.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 3.2% in April from 4.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings gained to 7.9% from 3.7%.

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