In the Grand Rapids, MI market in December, closings of new homes dropped year-over-year, but the decline was less than the year-over-year decline in November. New home closings moved from 33 a year earlier to 13 after the figure moved from 42 in November 2014 to 9 in November 2015.

A total of 415 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 435 for the year that ended in November.

On a percentage basis, new home closings as a part of total closings decreased to 1.3% from 3.6% a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in November, closings of new and existing homes also increased year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price for newly sold homes moved north to $277,416 from $222,556 a year ago. This was on the heels of a 20.1% gain in November year-over-year.

There was a decline in average mortgage size on new homes, going from $180,980 last year to $170,076 in December 2015. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $215,811 in November 2014 to $175,519 in November 2015.

Other Market Trends

There has not been much movement in the composition of the market with regard of the types of properties sold.

The average unit size of newly sold homes rose from 1,598 square feet a year earlier to 1,920 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in December, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, represented 16.7% of existing closings, lower than 20.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 7.4% in December 2014 to 6.4% in December 2015 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 10.3% from 12.7% a year earlier.

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