In the Wichita, KS market in January, closings of new homes slid year-over-year, but there were signs of market improvement with a percentage drop less steep than in December 2015. There was a 10.8% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. This was after the housing market saw a 24.2% fall year-over-year in December.

A total of 560 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, down from 564 for the year that ended in December.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 4.2% of overall housing closings. A year ago, new home closings accounted for 3.9%. After rising year-over-year in December, closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in January.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes was $443,925 per unit in January, up 58.7%from a year earlier. This gain is an improvement over the 3.1% surge in December year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a boost year-over-year along with new home prices. It grew to $364,231 in January, a 57.0% bump. Average mortgage size went from $235,312 in December 2014 to $237,404 in December 2015.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in January 2016. Single-family home closings have made up all of new home closings while attached unit closings have represented no part of closings.

There was a 31.8% lift year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,887 square feet in January 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,239 square feet in December 2014 to 2,528 square feet in December 2015. An increase in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in December 2015 when the average size gained 12.9% to 2,528 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in January, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 20.7% of existing home closings, down from 27.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 8.6% in January from 12.1% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 12.1% from 15.6% a year earlier.

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