In March, there was a fall year-over-year in new home closings in the Durham, NC market, shifting downward off a surge in February 2016. New home closings saw a drop of 7.1% from the year earlier to 171. This followed a 30.0% climb year-over-year in February.
A total of 1,777 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 1,790 for the year that ended in February.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 21.6%. This is an increase on a percentage basis, as new home closings were 19.4% of total closings a year ago. Following a year-over-year rise in February, closings of new and existing homes slid year-over-year in March.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
Average price of newly sold homes had a 9.6% gain year-over-year to $347,653 per unit in March. This lift is smaller than the 9.8% boost in February year-over-year.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size increased year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size rose to $272,144 in March, marking a 6.0% gain compared with a year earlier. Average mortgage size gained 1.1% in February 2016 from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. Single-family home closings grew from 72.8% of new closings in March 2015 to 77.2% of closings in March 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units fell to 22.8% of closings from 27.2% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes gained 28.0% year-over-year to 3,169 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,210 square feet in February 2015 to 2,026 square feet in February 2016.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 13.2% of existing closings, lower than 18.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 7.3% in March 2015 to 7.9% in March 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 5.3% from 11.5% a year earlier.