In the Gainesville, FL market in December, closings of new homes increased year-over-year, and with a more robust rise than November 2015, there are suggestions the market may be strengthening. New home closings saw a rise of 90.0% from the year earlier to 38. This was after the housing market saw a 33.3% hike year-over-year in November.

A total of 359 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 341 for the year that ended in November.

Of 575 total closings, 38 were of new homes. This is a hike from 5.3% of closings a year earlier. For new and existing homes, closings rose year-over-year in December after also increasing in November year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In December, the average price of newly sold homes fell year-over-year to $218,710 per unit, marking a 4.6% decline from the year-earlier figure. This fall compares to a 14.6% rise in November year-over-year.

There was a gain year-over-year in the average mortgage size on new homes in contrast to new home prices. Average mortgage size jumped 9.4% to $207,883 in December from a year earlier. In November 2015, average mortgage size gained 9.2% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The percentage of new home closings belonging to single-family homes has risen from last year while the portion of new home closings belonging to attached units has dropped. Single-family home closings rose from 85.0% of new closings in December 2014 to 89.5% of closings in December 2015. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings slid to 10.5% of closings from 15.0% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 13.3% year-over-year to 1,738 square feet in December 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,860 square feet in November 2014 to 1,766 square feet in November 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in December, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 19.0% of existing home closings, below 36.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 5.4% in December from 18.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 13.6% from 17.2% a year earlier.

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