In the Seattle, WA market in December, new home closings fell year-over-year, and the market seemed to be weakening with a percentage fall steeper than in November 2015. New home closings saw a decline of 13.2% from the year earlier to 538. This came on the heels of a 1.7% fall year-over-year in November.
A total of 7,042 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 7,124 for the year that ended in November.
New home closings represented 9.8% of overall housing closings. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 11.5% of total closings. Following a year-over-year increase in November, closings of new and existing homes also climbed year-over-year in December.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of newly sold homes increased year-over-year 4.4% in December to $575,150 per unit. This bump is smaller than the 11.3% lift in November year-over-year.
The average mortgage size on newly sold homes jumped year-over-year along with the average price of new homes. The average mortgage size rose to $463,630 in December, marking a 7.1% gain compared with a year earlier. Average mortgage size grew 9.5% in November 2015 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 climbed from 83.7% in December 2014 to 84.9% of closings in December 2015. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings declined to 15.1% of closings from 16.3% of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size dropped 2.6% year-over-year to 2,647 square feet in December 2015. This decline was opposite the price gain, a pattern also seen in November 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes fell 1.0% to 2,615 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,642 square feet in November 2014 to 2,615 square feet in November 2015.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in December, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 16.1% of closings, below 25.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 6.4% in December from 11.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 9.8% from 13.7% a year earlier.