In March, the Des Moines, IA market saw a drop year-over-year in new home closings, curving down after an increase in February 2016. New home closings saw a fall of 4.3% from the year earlier to 110. This followed a 16.3% hike year-over-year in February.

A total of 1,606 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 1,611 for the year that ended in February.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 8.2%. This is down from the 10.6% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes grew year-over-year in March after also rising in February year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price rose 4.6% year-over-year in March to $302,541 per unit. This lift is higher than the 1.4% hike in February year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size jumped year-over-year along with new home prices. Average mortgage size jumped 4.3% to $256,093 in March from a year earlier. In February 2016, average mortgage size rose 1.9% 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 83.5% of new closings in March 2015 to 99.1% of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings sank to 0.9% of closings from 16.5% of closings.

There was a 9.5% rise year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,915 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 1,768 square feet a year earlier to 1,850 square feet. An increase was also seen in February 2016 when the average size of new homes sold grew 4.6% to 1,850 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in March, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 14.1% of existing closings, lower than 22.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 5.1% in March from 7.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 9.1% from 14.6% a year earlier.

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