There was a rise in closings of new homes in the Atlanta, GA market in December year-over-year, and with a more robust surge than November 2015, there are signs the market may be strengthening. Closings gained 18.8% from a year earlier to 1,656. This came on the heels of a 17.1% climb year-over-year in November.

A total of 15,113 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 14,851 for the year that ended in November.

Of 10,924 total closings, 1,656 were of new homes. This marks a rise from 13.9% of total closings a year earlier. For new and existing homes, closings rose year-over-year in December after also increasing in November year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of newly sold homes climbed year-over-year to $337,835 in December, up 3.1% from last year. This lift is smaller than the 4.8% boost in November year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes jumped year-over-year along with the average price of new homes. In December 2015, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 3.8% gain from a year earlier. In November 2015, average mortgage size grew 6.0% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

There has not been much movement in the composition of the market with regard of the types of properties sold. From a year ago, single-family home closings have moved from 85.9% of new home closings to 86.8% of closings while attached units have gone from 14.1% of closings to 13.2% of closings.

There was a move in the average unit size of newly sold homes from 3,034 square feet in December 2014 to 3,015 square feet in December 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,997 square feet in November 2014 to 2,961 square feet in November 2015. In November 2015, the average size of newly sold homes dropped 1.2% from the year earlier.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in December, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 24.8% of existing home closings, below 30.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 10.6% in December from 15.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 14.2% from 15.6% a year earlier.

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