In March, closings of new homes in the Riverside, CA market jumped year-over-year, but the percentage lift, which was less than February 2016, seemed to suggest market leveling. New home closings saw a climb of 22.1% from the year earlier to 679. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 28.2% jump year-over-year in February.
A total of 7,239 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 7,116 for the year that ended in February.
Of 6,447 total closings, 679 were of new homes. This is an increase on a percentage basis, as new home closings were 8.8% of total closings a year ago. Following a year-over-year increase in February, closings of new and existing homes also gained year-over-year in March.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In March, the average value of new homes saw a 5.7% boost year-over-year as it grew to $459,613 per unit. This surge is smaller than the 6.0% lift in February year-over-year.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a gain year-over-year along with new home prices. Average mortgage size increased 7.0% to $370,662 in March from a year earlier. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 7.9% gain year-over-year from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Closings of attached units, as a percentage of new home closings, have risen from last year while closings of single-family homes have slumped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units rose from 5.8% of closings in March 2015 to 8.2% of closings in March 2016. Conversely, the share belonging to single-family homes fell to 91.8% of closings from 94.2% of closings.
There was a move in the average unit size of newly sold homes from 2,715 square feet in March 2015 to 2,734 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,575 square feet a year earlier to 2,544 square feet. In February 2016, the average size of newly sold homes sank 1.2% from the year earlier.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in March, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 16.6% of existing closings, lower than 21.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 6.9% in March from 11.0% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 10.1% of existing home closings in March 2015 to 9.7% in March 2016.