Closings of new homes in the Augusta, GA market fell year-over-year in January, but the percentage decline was not as steep as December 2015, suggesting that the market may be leveling out. New home closings saw a 32.0% drop from a year earlier to 68. This followed a 37.7% fall year-over-year in December.
A total of 1,513 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, down from 1,545 for the year that ended in December.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 9.4%. This is down from the 13.6% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year decline in December, closings of new and existing homes also slid year-over-year in January.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of new homes was $253,234 per unit in January, up 20.0%from a year earlier. This surge is an improvement over the 7.8% boost in December year-over-year.
Average mortgage size on new homes jumped year-over-year along with new home prices. In January 2016, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 10.6% lift from a year earlier. Average mortgage size rose 8.5% in December 2015 from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in January 2016. Single-family home closings have represented 97.1% of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up 2.9% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes jumped 15.6% year-over-year to 2,905 square feet in January 2016. An increase in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in December 2015 when the average size rose 24.5% to 3,066 square feet. In December, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,463 square feet a year earlier to 3,066 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in January from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings made up 36.6% of closings, below 37.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 23.4% in January from 18.5% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 13.2% from 18.7% a year earlier.