In the St. George, UT market in April, new home closings jumped year-over-year, and the percentage bump, which was better than March 2016, suggested the market may be improving. There was a 27.7% climb in new home closings from a year earlier. This came on the heels of a 19.0% boost year-over-year in March.
A total of 981 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, up from 963 for the year that ended in March.
Of 450 total closings, 83 were of new homes. This is an increase on a percentage basis, as new home closings were 14.0% of total closings a year ago. Closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in April after also falling in March year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In April, the average price of newly sold homes declined year-over-year to $320,484 per unit, marking a 20.1% drop from the year-earlier figure. This fall is larger than the 8.1% drop in March from a year earlier.
Average mortgage size on new homes sank year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In April 2016, there was a 23.0% drop in the average mortgage size on new homes to $278,026. In March 2016, average mortgage size dropped 9.5% from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Closings of attached units, as a percentage of new home closings, have risen from last year while closings of single-family homes have fallen. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units increased from 7.7% of closings in April 2015 to 13.3% of closings in April 2016. Meanwhile, single-family home closings as a percentage of all new home closings declined to 86.7% of closings from 92.3% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes climbed 23.1% year-over-year to 2,693 square feet in April 2016. For newly sold homes, an average size lift contrasting with an average price fall was also seen in March 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes fell 5.9% to 2,190 square feet. In March, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,068 square feet a year earlier to 2,190 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in April, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 6.3% of existing closings, lower than 10.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 1.9% in April from 5.2% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 5.2% of existing home closings in April 2015 to 4.4% in April 2016.