In March, there was a decline year-over-year in new home closings in the Allentown, PA market, sliding downhill after showling little movement in February from the year earlier. New home closings declined by 24.6% from last year to 49. Closings were level in February from the year earlier.

A total of 616 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 632 for the year that ended in February.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 6.5%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings made up 8.2% of total closings. Following a year-over-year rise in February, closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average price of newly sold homes saw a 6.4% decline year-over-year in March to $326,004 per unit. This fall is larger than the 3.1% drop in February from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes declined year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In March 2016, average mortgage size on new homes sold was $270,351, down 6.7% from a year earlier. In February 2016, average mortgage size slid 11.3% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes gained from 55.4% in March 2015 to 57.1% of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings slid to 42.9% of closings from 44.6% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 6.8% year-over-year to 2,296 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,528 square feet in February 2015 to 2,230 square feet in February 2016. A fall was also seen in February 2016 when the average size of new homes sold dropped 11.8% to 2,230 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to increase in March from a year earlier and remained a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, represented 33.8% of existing home closings, higher than 32.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 12.8% in March from 14.1% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings grew to 21.0% from 18.7%.

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