In the Baton Rouge, LA market, new home closings dropped year-over-year in December, and the percentage drop, which was steeper than November 2015, gave hints of weakening market conditions. New home closings saw a drop of 78.7% from the year earlier to 26. This came on the heels of a 67.4% decline year-over-year in November.
A total of 732 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 828 for the year that ended in November.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 3.4%. This is down from the 13.6% of closings a year earlier. For new and existing homes, closings dropped in December after also declining in November year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
For newly sold homes, the average price moved from $278,854 in December 2014 to $277,395 in December 2015. This followed a 17.1% rise in November year-over-year.
In contrast to new home prices, there was an increase year-over-year in the average mortgage size on newly sold homes. In December 2015, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 1.8% surge from a year earlier. In November 2015, average mortgage size jumped 27.0% from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in December 2015. Single-family home closings have made up all of new home closings while attached unit closings have represented no part of closings.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in December, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 16.9% of closings, below 22.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 7.2% in December from 8.7% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 9.8% from 14.1% a year earlier.