In the Knoxville, TN market, closings of new homes fell year-over-year in March, but there were signals the market may be stabilizing with a percentage decline less steep as in February 2016. Closings sank 50.8% from a year earlier to 29. This was after the housing market saw a 55.4% decline year-over-year in February.

A total of 625 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 655 for the year that ended in February.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 3.0%. This is a decline 5.9% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in February, closings of new and existing homes dropped year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price moved from $280,443 in March 2015 to $279,914 in March 2016. This was on the heels of a 9.7% gain in February year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes rose year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In March 2016, the average mortgage size was $254,792, up 11.1% from a year earlier. Average mortgage size climbed 10.1% in February 2016 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Closings of attached units, as a percentage of new home closings, have risen from last year while closings of single-family homes have dipped. Attached unit closings grew from 6.8% of all closings in March 2015 to 10.3% of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, single-family home closings as a percentage of all new home closings fell to 89.7% of closings from 93.2% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes dropped 3.9% year-over-year to 2,341 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,366 square feet a year earlier to 2,240 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in March, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 18.5% of existing home closings, down from 26.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 8.3% in March from 15.7% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 10.3% of existing home closings in March 2015 to 10.2% in March 2016.

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