New home closings in the St. Louis, MO market slid year-over-year in May, but there were signs that the market may be leveling out with a percentage fall less steep than in April 2016. New home closings saw a decline of 82.0% from the year earlier to 35. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 82.4% fall year-over-year in April.

A total of 976 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in May, down from 1,135 for the year that ended in April.

New home closings represented 0.7% of overall housing closings. This is down from the 3.5% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes dropped year-over-year in May after also falling in April year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In May, there was a 80.7% surge year-over-year in the average price of newly sold homes, reaching $558,872 per unit. This gain follows a move from $285,822 per unit to $284,389 from April 2015 to April 2016.

Along with new home prices, there was an increase year-over-year in the average mortgage size on newly sold homes. In May 2016, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 53.6% gain from a year earlier. In April 2016, average mortgage size rose 9.4% 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 88.1% in May 2015 to 97.1% of closings in May 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings fell to 2.9% of closings from 11.9% of closings.

There was a 16.5% lift year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,570 square feet in May 2016. In April, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,007 square feet a year earlier to 2,054 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in May, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 16.4% of existing home closings, down from 21.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 7.0% in May from 8.6% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 9.4% from 13.1% a year earlier.

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