There was a rise in closings of new homes in the Mobile, AL market in January year-over-year, and there were signs of strengthening market conditions as the percentage boost was sharper than December 2015. New home closings saw a climb of 35.0% from the year earlier to 27. This was after the housing market saw a 24.0% hike year-over-year in December.

A total of 356 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, up from 349 for the year that ended in December.

Of 472 total closings, 27 were of new homes. This is an increase on a percentage basis, as new home closings were 3.7% of total closings a year ago. Following a year-over-year decline in December, closings of new and existing homes also sank year-over-year in January.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average value of newly sold homes moved to $194,818 in January 2016 from $196,014 in January 2015. This was on the heels of a 17.8% bump in December year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size gained year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In January 2016, the average mortgage size was $191,956, up 9.3% from a year earlier. Average mortgage size grew 8.6% in December 2015 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in January 2016. Single-family home closings have represented all of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up no part of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 22.7% year-over-year to 1,618 square feet in January 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,825 square feet in December 2014 to 1,573 square feet in December 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in January from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 41.8% of existing home closings, below 46.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 22.9% in January from 25.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 18.9% from 21.6% a year earlier.

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