Closings of new homes in the Des Moines, IA market declined year-over-year in August, but the drop in percentage terms was not as steep as July 2015, signaling that the market may be stabilizing. New home closings saw a decline of 10.6% from the year earlier to 84. This came on the heels of a 18.7% drop year-over-year in July.
A total of 1,304 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 1,314 for the year that ended in July.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 6.5%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 7.7% of total closings. For new and existing homes, closings climbed year-over-year in August after also increasing in July year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
Average price of newly sold homes saw a 3.6% lift year-over-year in August to $299,571 per unit. This rise is smaller than the 3.7% boost in July year-over-year.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size rose year-over-year along with new home prices. Average mortgage size increased 6.4% to $254,533 in August from a year earlier. Average mortgage size gained 8.6% in July 2015 from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. Single-family home closings increased from 86.2% of new closings in August 2014 to 97.6% of closings in August 2015. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings fell to 2.4% of closings from 13.8% of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size grew 1.5% year-over-year to 1,762 square feet in August 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,827 square feet in July 2014 to 1,661 square feet in July 2015.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in August, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 12.8% of existing home closings, down from 21.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 5.7% in August from 10.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 7.1% from 10.9% a year earlier.