Total new-home closings: 3,612
The good: Unemployment was below 5% and the average sales price among new homes climbed in January 2015, increasing by $100,000 over the course of two consecutive year-over-year increases.
The bad: More or less every indicator at the start of 2015 hints at a worsening market.
The bottom line: With the average new-home sales price drastically up, yet average square footages down, builders appear to be getting by on fewer and smaller—but more expensive—homes.
All the right things were down and the wrong things were up in Boston for the first part of 2015, hinting at a market that may be worsening. The exception includes unemployment, which decreased year over year in March to an excellent 4.4% (compared with the national rate of 5.5%). Aside from that, closings sank by 72.7% year over year in January, following a 47.4% drop in December, while the total number of new homes sold over a 12-month period closed out 40 fewer than registered in the period ending in December. The total market share held by new-home sales also decreased to an abysmal 0.5%, from an already low 1.8% a year earlier, while REO and foreclosures took their share of the existing-homes market, growing by 5.3% year over year in January to a 17.4% share. Meanwhile, the average size of new homes shrank by 6.1% year over year in January to 2,002 square feet. About the only thing climbing at the start of 2015 was the average sales price for new homes, which posted two consecutive year-over-year increases in January to the tune of $100,000.