The Baton Rouge, LA market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in May, but the drop in percentage terms was not as steep as April 2016, signaling market improvement. New home closings saw a decline of 39.4% from the year earlier to 60. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 77.3% drop year-over-year in April.

A total of 769 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in May, down from 808 for the year that ended in April.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 5.6%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings accounted for 9.9% of total closings. Following a decline in April year-over-year, closings of new and existing homes increased year-over-year in May.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In May, the average value of new homes saw a 15.1% gain year-over-year as it grew to $298,914 per unit. This rise is higher than the 11.1% boost in April year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a rise year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size saw a 12.7% boost year-over-year to $260,621 in May. Average mortgage size rose 18.8% in April 2016 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 May 2016. Single-family home closings have made up all of new home closings while attached unit closings have represented no part of closings.

There was a 34.7% decline year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,503 square feet in May 2016. For newly sold homes, an average size decline contrasting with an average price gain was also seen in April 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes fell 31.2% to 1,428 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,075 square feet in April 2015 to 1,428 square feet in April 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in May, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 12.6% of existing home closings, down from 16.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 5.6% in May from 7.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 7.0% from 9.3% a year earlier.

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