Total new-home closings: 2,438
The good: Unemployment showed a steep drop from 9.1% to 6.4% year over year in March 2015.
The bad: Overall, the market shows signs of weakening.
The bottom line: Following market decreases and price increases, year-to-date permits shrinking in March 2015 may be evidence of builders taking a cautious approach to a weakening market.
As Motor City mounted a comeback in unemployment in March 2015, with a year-over-year decrease from 9.1% to 6.4%, new-home closings dropped by 67.2% year over year, following a 66.2% drop in February. Meanwhile, year-to-date closing figures were down year over year from 1,962 to 1,831 in the 12-month period ending in March. The overall market share of new homes also decreased year over year in March, slipping from 3.2% of the total market in March 2014 to 1.3% in 2015. Add to that a surge among new-home prices of 23.7% year over year, and the first months of 2015 pose the threat of a weakening market. A decrease in year-to-date permit totals for single-family homes of 8% year over year in March may indicate that builders are moving forward with general caution.