The Santa Barbara, CA market saw a rise in new home closings in September year-over-year, but there were signs of market leveling as the percentage boost was less than August 2015. New home closings saw a hike of 14.7% from the year earlier to 39. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 42.4% boost year-over-year in August.

A total of 409 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in September, up from 404 for the year that ended in August.

Of the total number of closings, new home closings made up 10.5%. New home closings were 10.7% of overall closings last year. Following a year-over-year increase in August, closings of new and existing homes also climbed year-over-year in September.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price slid 8.3% year-over-year in September to $519,013 per unit. This drop is larger than the 8.2% fall in August from a year earlier.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size increased year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In September 2015, the average mortgage size was $399,033, a 2.0% bump from a year earlier. In August 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 16.4% decline from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have climbed from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen. Single-family home closings rose from 70.6% of new closings in September 2014 to 74.4% of closings in September 2015. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 25.6% of closings from 29.4% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes dropped 17.1% year-over-year to 1,507 square feet in September 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,889 square feet in August 2014 to 1,467 square feet in August 2015. A decrease in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in August 2015 when the average size rose 22.3% to 1,467 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in September, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 8.8% of existing home closings, down from 12.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 3.0% in September from 4.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 5.7% from 7.4% a year earlier.

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