Closings of new homes dropped year-over-year in July in the Wichita, KS market, but the percentage fall, which was less steep than in June 2012, seemed to be signaling market improvement. New home closings sank by 40.9% in July 2012 from a year earlier, after closings saw a 43.9% drop in June from the year earlier.

A total of 474 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in July, down from 501 for the year that ended in June.

A year earlier, new home closings accounted for 6.7% of overall housing closings and the percentage declined to 4.0% of closings in July 2012. Following a year-over-year decline in June, closings of new and existing homes also fell year-over-year in July.

In July, the average price of newly sold homes increased to $252,231 per unit, a 15.0% rise year-over-year. This is a turnaround from the 10.9% drop in June from a year earlier.

Along with new home prices, there was an increase year-over-year in the average mortgage size on newly sold homes. In July 2012, the average mortgage size was $215,568, a 12.0% boost from a year earlier. Average mortgage size declined 11.3% in June 2012 from a year earlier. On average, the percentage of new home sale price being financed saw a 2.2 percentage point decline from a year earlier. It moved from 84.5% in June 2011 to 84.1% in June 2012.

There was no change in the composition of the new-home market with regard to the types of properties sold in July 2012. Single-family home closings have accounted for all of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up no part of closings.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings did not look to be a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 17.6% of existing home closings. In July 2011, they accounted for 25.6%. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slipped to 5.5% in July from 12.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 12.1% from 13.6% a year earlier.

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