The Tucson, AZ market saw an increase in closings of new homes in March year-over-year, but there were signs the market may be stabilizing with a percentage bump shallower than February 2016. Closings climbed 22.8% from a year earlier to 140. This was after the housing market saw a 55.2% rise year-over-year in February.

A total of 1,731 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 1,705 for the year that ended in February.

New home closings, which accounted for 6.7% of overall closings, were relatively stable compared with a year earlier. For new and existing homes, closings climbed year-over-year in March after also increasing in February year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes declined by 6.1% year-over-year to $251,049 per unit in March. This fall compares to a 11.6% boost in February year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes went from $226,194 in March 2015 to $224,155 in March 2016. In February 2016, average mortgage size jumped 4.8% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have climbed from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes rose from 97.4% in March 2015 to 99.3% of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings declined to 0.7% of closings from 2.6% of closings.

There was a 7.3% drop year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,046 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,240 square feet in February 2015 to 2,292 square feet in February 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in March, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 17.3% of existing home closings, below 23.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 6.5% in March from 12.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings stayed level at 10.8%.

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