In the Birmingham, AL market, new home closings sank year-over-year in March, and the market seemed to be worsening in light of the percentage drop steeper than February 2016. New home closings saw a 82.6% decline from a year earlier to 16. This came after a 77.8% decline year-over-year in February.
A total of 502 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 578 for the year that ended in February.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 1.0%. This is a fall 5.4% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in March after also falling in February year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In March, there was a 9.1% fall year-over-year in the average per-unit price of newly sold homes, settling at $272,827. This drop is larger than the 1.2% fall in February from a year earlier.
In March 2016, average mortgage size on new homes went from $236,451 in March 2015 to $235,496 in March 2016. In February 2016, average mortgage size dropped 8.2% 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 March 2016. Single-family home closings have made up all of new home closings while attached unit closings have accounted for no part of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size grew 1.7% year-over-year to 2,112 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,407 square feet in February 2015 to 2,211 square feet in February 2016.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in March from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 28.8% of existing home closings, below 31.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 12.2% in March from 15.5% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 16.0% of existing home closings in March 2015 to 16.5% in March 2016.