Total new-home closings: 1,852
The good: February 2015 posted gains in single-family market share, reaching 98.1%.
The bad: Despite being the month of McMansions (with average square footages more than doubling year over year), the average new-home price in February rose by only 1.9%.
The bottom line: With January and February posting large dents year over year in closing figures and the average home price rising, builders will need to lean on more than super-sized homes to stay on track for a big year in 2015.
Total new-home closings fell in the first months of 2015 in Richmond, but to a lesser degree in February than in January, providing some hope for leveling. And the fact is— while new-home closings saw a 53.4% drop year over year in February, builders may not have noticed it by looking at their dollars earned for that month, thanks to a more than doubling of the average unit size of newly sold homes to 6,698 square feet. Whether the 9% year-over-year increase in year-to-date single-family building permits will produce the same McMansions sold in February is yet to be seen, but based on a narrow 1.9% year-over-year increase in the average sales price for newly sold homes in February, builders will need to do more than super-size their projects in order to cook up a big year for the remainder of 2015.