In the San Francisco, CA market in July, new home closings increased year-over-year, and the percentage lift was higher than June 2012, implying the market may be improving. There was a 42.5% climb in new home closings from a year earlier. This came after a 24.2% jump year-over-year in June.

A total of 2,983 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in July, up from 2,890 for the year that ended in June.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 6.1%. This is an increase on a percentage basis, as new home closings were 4.2% of total closings a year ago. Closings of new and existing homes fell year-over-year in July after also falling in June year-over-year.

The average price of new homes declined 12.2% year-over-year in July to $573,719 per unit. This fall is a swing down from a 3.5% rise in June year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a decline year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. Average mortgage size slipped 6.0% to $427,238 in July from a year earlier. In June 2012, average mortgage size increased 4.6% from a year earlier. For new home closings, the average percentage of the price being financed rose 4.9 percentage points from a year earlier. It went from 72.4% in June 2011 to 73.2% in June 2012.

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 increased from 51.1% of new closings in July 2011 to 53.8% of closings in July 2012. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings declined to 46.2% of closings from 48.9% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes slid 12.7% year-over-year to 1,438 square feet in July 2012. A decrease in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in June 2012 when the average size climbed 13.7% to 1,526 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in July from a year earlier, but remained a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings made up 29.4% of closings, below 46.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 12.1% in July from 23.5% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dipped to 17.2% from 23.0% a year earlier.

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