In the Richmond, VA market in January, closings of new homes dropped year-over-year, and there were hints the market may be worsening with a percentage decline steeper than that of December 2015. New home closings saw a fall of 33.3% from the year earlier to 92. This was after the housing market saw a 24.9% decline year-over-year in December.

A total of 1,705 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, down from 1,751 for the year that ended in December.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 7.8%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings made up 11.1% of total closings. Following a year-over-year increase in December, closings of new and existing homes slid year-over-year in January.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price dropped 2.5% year-over-year in January to $351,951 per unit. This drop is a drop off from the 3.6% decline in December from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes sank year-over-year in contrast to the average price of new homes. The average mortgage size declined to $299,407 in January, marking a 7.0% fall compared with last year. In December 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 2.9% drop 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 grew from 84.1% in January 2015 to all of closings in January 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to no part of closings from 15.9% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size increased 15.2% year-over-year to 3,251 square feet in January 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,773 square feet in December 2014 to 2,555 square feet in December 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in January from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 30.4% of closings, below 35.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 16.5% in January from 20.5% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 13.9% from 15.4% a year earlier.

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