Closings of new homes fell year-over-year in April in the St. Louis, MO market, and there were hints of weakening market conditions with a percentage decline steeper than that of March 2016. New home closings saw a fall of 82.4% from the year earlier to 36. This came after a 82.1% fall year-over-year in March.
A total of 1,135 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 1,304 for the year that ended in March.
New home closings represented 0.8% of overall housing closings. This is a drop 4.1% of closings a year earlier. After rising year-over-year in March, closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in April.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average value of newly sold homes moved to $284,389 in April 2016 from $285,822 in April 2015. This followed a 17.8% bump in March year-over-year.
The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a gain year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. Average mortgage size grew 9.4% to $253,727 in April from a year earlier. In March 2016, average mortgage size gained 6.5% 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. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes jumped from 87.3% in April 2015 to 91.7% of closings in April 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units declined to 8.3% of closings from 12.7% of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size rose 2.3% year-over-year to 2,054 square feet in April 2016. In March, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,117 square feet a year earlier to 1,833 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in April, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 17.9% of existing home closings, below 23.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 6.5% in April from 10.1% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 11.4% from 13.0% a year earlier.