In the Baton Rouge, LA market, closings of new homes sank year-over-year in February, and the percentage drop was steeper than January 2016, giving suggestion the market may be worsening. Closings sank 66.7% from a year earlier to 36. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 59.1% drop year-over-year in January.

A total of 1,014 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, down from 1,086 for the year that ended in January.

New home closings made up 4.8% of overall housing closings. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings accounted for 13.8% of total closings. Following a year-over-year decline in January, closings of new and existing homes also dropped year-over-year in February.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes increased year-over-year in February to $281,448 per unit, a rise of 24.9%. This lift is higher than the 10.0% hike in January year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. In February 2016, the average mortgage size was $243,556, a 19.4% rise from a year earlier. In January 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 5.3% surge year-over-year from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The share of new home closings made up by attached units has risen while the share belonging to single-family homes has fallen. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units jumped from no part of closings in February 2015 to 2.8% of closings in February 2016. Conversely, the share belonging to single-family homes fell to 97.2% of closings from all of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes remained steady year-over-year at 2,078 square feet in February 2016. In January, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,104 square feet a year earlier to 2,213 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings rose in February from a year earlier and did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 23.6% of existing home closings, higher than 22.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 10.8% in February 2015 to 11.8% in February 2016 and REO closings moved from 11.4% of existing home closings in February 2015 to 11.8% in February 2016.

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