In April, there was a drop year-over-year in new home closings in the Lincoln, NE market, and the percentage fall was steeper than March 2016, suggesting the market may be worsening. New home closings saw a fall of 26.3% from the year earlier to 42. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 9.5% drop year-over-year in March.
A total of 613 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 628 for the year that ended in March.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 7.9%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 9.5% of total closings. Following a year-over-year decline in March, closings of new and existing homes also sank year-over-year in April.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of newly sold homes increased year-over-year 8.9% in April to $275,240 per unit. This boost follows a move from $266,883 per unit to $265,611 from March 2015 to March 2016.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size grew year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size saw a 7.7% gain year-over-year to $234,593 in April. In March 2016, average mortgage size gained 8.4% from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
The percentage of new home closings belonging to single-family homes has risen from last year while the portion of new home closings belonging to attached units has dropped. Single-family home closings climbed from 59.6% of new closings in April 2015 to 73.8% of closings in April 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units fell to 26.2% of closings from 40.4% of closings.
There was a 25.5% boost year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,006 square feet in April 2016. In March, the average size of new homes sold went from 1,651 square feet a year earlier to 1,759 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings rose in April from a year earlier and did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 13.7% of existing home closings, up from 7.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 5.9% in April from 3.3% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings grew to 7.8% from 4.6%.