Total new-home closings: 2,310
The good: Steep year-over-year decreases occurring in early 2015 moderated, followed by an increase in year-to-date permits in March.
The bad: Drops in year-to-date closings and decreasing market share among single-family products came in tow.
The bottom line: With unemployment improving year over year in March, along with signs of market improvement, there’s hope for another strong turnout in 2015 for builders.
While steep year-over-year declines in new-home closings occurred in February 2015 (by 79.5%), a narrower drop in March—along with an increase in year-to-date single-family permits of 40%—give builders hope for the remainder of 2015. The total of 651 new homes sold over the 12-month period ending in March was down from 750 for the year ending February. As a result, a little extra effort will be necessary to close out a strong year, as builders contend with decreasing market share among single-family products, which shrank year over year in March for two consecutive years from 85% to 70%, and decreasing overall market share among new homes, which fell from 15.9% to 4.3% year over year in March. A 1.5% year-over-year drop in unemployment in March may help.