New home closings declined year-over-year in April in the Fort Walton Beach, FL market, but the market seemed to be signaling improvement with a percentage drop less steep than in March 2016. There was a 36.0% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. This followed a 51.5% fall year-over-year in March.

A total of 257 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 266 for the year that ended in March.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 3.7%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 5.1% of total closings. For new and existing homes, closings slid in April after also declining in March year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In April, the average price of newly sold homes jumped 10.7% year-over-year to $359,925 per unit. This boost is higher than the 6.1% lift in March year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes declined year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In April 2016, there was a 14.2% drop in the average mortgage size on new homes to $256,577. Average mortgage size fell 1.4% in March 2016 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a percentage of new home closings, attached unit closings have grown from last year while single-family home closings have dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units jumped from no part of closings in April 2015 to 12.5% of closings in April 2016. Conversely, the share belonging to single-family homes slid to 87.5% of closings from all of closings.

There was a 12.8% decline year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,256 square feet in April 2016. For newly sold homes, an average size decline contrasting with an average price boost was also seen in March 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes dropped 9.5% to 2,031 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,244 square feet in March 2015 to 2,031 square feet in March 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in April, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 21.5% of existing home closings, below 35.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 6.7% in April from 15.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 14.8% from 20.1% a year earlier.

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