The San Diego, CA market saw a rise in new home closings in January year-over-year, and the percentage rise was higher than December 2015, implying the market may be improving. There was a more than twofold boost in new home closings from a year earlier. This was after the housing market saw a 9.1% boost year-over-year in December.

A total of 2,057 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, up from 1,990 for the year that ended in December.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 4.8%. This is better than the 2.0% of closings a year earlier. After rising year-over-year in December, closings of new and existing homes fell year-over-year in January.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In January, the average price of newly sold homes gained year-over-year to $683,851 per unit, a 2.6% surge. This hike is smaller than the 20.7% gain in December year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size gained year-over-year along with new home prices. In January 2016, average mortgage size grew 18.1% from a year earlier to $571,612. In December 2015, average mortgage size climbed 13.6% 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 grew from 56.9% of new closings in January 2015 to 60.2% of closings in January 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings sank to 39.8% of closings from 43.1% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size slid 3.7% year-over-year to 2,673 square feet in January 2016. For newly sold homes, an average size drop contrasting with an average price hike was also seen in December 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes dropped 16.8% to 2,539 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 3,051 square feet in December 2014 to 2,539 square feet in December 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in January, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 12.0% of existing home closings, below 14.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 5.0% in January from 6.3% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 7.9% of existing home closings in January 2015 to 7.0% in January 2016.

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