There was a rise in closings of new homes in the Durham, NC market in May year-over-year, but there were hints the market may be stabilizing with a percentage boost shallower than April 2016. Closings climbed 3.8% from a year earlier to 137. This came on the heels of a 5.8% hike year-over-year in April.

A total of 1,816 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in May, up from 1,811 for the year that ended in April.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 13.8%. They accounted for 13.3% of closings a year earlier. After being steady in April from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes remained level in May.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In May, there was a 3.9% fall year-over-year in the average per-unit price of newly sold homes, settling at $324,549. This fall is larger than the 2.0% drop in April from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes saw a decline year-over-year in contrast to prices of new homes. It sank 5.3% in May from a year earlier to $254,981. Average mortgage size grew 5.8% in April 2016 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The share of new home closings made up by attached units has risen while the share belonging to single-family homes has fallen. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units grew from 20.5% of closings in May 2015 to 27.7% of closings in May 2016. At the same time, the share belonging to single-family homes slid to 72.3% of closings from 79.5% of closings.

There was a 51.6% fall year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,315 square feet in May 2016. A drop was also seen in April 2016 when the average size of new homes sold fell 2.7% to 2,276 square feet. In April, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,338 square feet a year earlier to 2,276 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in May, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 9.1% of existing home closings, down from 12.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 4.2% in May from 5.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 4.9% from 6.3% a year earlier.

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