In the Des Moines, IA market, new home closings dropped year-over-year in April, and the market seemed to be worsening in light of the percentage fall steeper than March 2016. There was a 18.2% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. This came on the heels of a 4.3% fall year-over-year in March.

A total of 1,580 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 1,606 for the year that ended in March.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 9.3% of overall housing closings. A year ago, new home closings accounted for 10.1%. After rising year-over-year in March, closings of new and existing homes fell year-over-year in April.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes was $299,751 per unit in April, up 8.1%from a year earlier. This lift is an improvement over the 4.6% boost in March year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a hike year-over-year along with new home prices. In April 2016, there was a 3.7% boost in the average mortgage size, reaching $250,564. In March 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 4.3% rise year-over-year 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 rose from 83.9% of new closings in April 2015 to 97.4% of closings in April 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 2.6% of closings from 16.1% of closings.

There was a move in the average unit size of newly sold homes from 1,698 square feet in April 2015 to 1,700 square feet in April 2016. In March 2016, the average size of newly sold homes climbed 9.5% from the year earlier. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,749 square feet in March 2015 to 1,915 square feet in March 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in April, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 13.2% of existing closings, lower than 17.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 5.4% in April from 9.2% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 8.7% of existing home closings in April 2015 to 7.8% in April 2016.

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