In May, there was a decline year-over-year in new home closings in the Columbus, OH market, but there were signals the market may be leveling out with a percentage decline less steep as in April 2016. New home closings saw a 23.2% decline from a year earlier to 142. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 38.1% drop year-over-year in April.

A total of 2,204 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in May, down from 2,247 for the year that ended in April.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 3.6%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 5.4% of total closings. Closings of new and existing homes gained in May after staying steady in April from a year earlier.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes was $346,064 per unit in May, up 6.7%from a year earlier. This surge is an improvement over the 1.9% rise in April year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes increased year-over-year along with the average price of new homes. Average mortgage size gained 6.0% to $278,325 in May from a year earlier. Average mortgage size gained 1.2% in April 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 rose from 76.2% of new closings in May 2015 to 80.3% of closings in May 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings dropped to 19.7% of closings from 23.8% of closings.

There was a 2.8% boost year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,684 square feet in May 2016. An increase in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in April 2016 when the average size jumped 3.6% to 2,582 square feet. In April, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,493 square feet a year earlier to 2,582 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings rose in May from a year earlier and did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 16.8% of existing home closings, up from 15.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 9.3% in May from 6.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 7.5% from 9.6% a year earlier.

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