Closings of new homes dropped year-over-year in April in the Cedar Rapids, IA market, and the percentage fall worsened from March 2016, indicating the market may be weakening. New home closings saw a 48.6% decline from a year earlier to 19. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 8.3% drop year-over-year in March.

A total of 425 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 443 for the year that ended in March.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 4.4%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings made up 7.4% of total closings. Following a year-over-year decline in March, closings of new and existing homes also declined year-over-year in April.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of newly sold homes jumped year-over-year to $255,368 in April, up 15.2% from last year. This lift compares to a 7.9% drop in March from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes jumped year-over-year along with the average price of new homes. In April 2016, the average mortgage size was $228,787, a 20.2% rise from a year earlier. Average mortgage size slid 7.5% in March 2016 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes jumped from 78.4% in April 2015 to 84.2% of closings in April 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units fell to 15.8% of closings from 21.6% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes increased 20.5% year-over-year to 1,761 square feet in April 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,811 square feet in March 2015 to 1,976 square feet in March 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in April, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 14.1% of existing home closings, down from 14.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 9.0% in April from 5.6% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 5.1% from 9.2% a year earlier.

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