In March, the Baltimore, MD market saw a drop year-over-year in new home closings, and the market seemed to be weakening with a percentage decline steeper than in February 2016. This year's new home closings slumped from last year by 14.8%, reaching 265. This compares with the change from 221 in February 2015 to 311 in February 2016.

A total of 3,785 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 3,831 for the year that ended in February.

New home closings made up 8.1% of overall closings, unchanged from a year earlier. Following a year-over-year decline in February, closings of new and existing homes also declined year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In March, the average price of newly sold homes slid year-over-year to $462,871 per unit, marking a 1.0% drop from the year-earlier figure. This fall compares to a 2.5% gain in February year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, average mortgage size moved from $390,964 in March 2015 to $388,841 in March 2016. Average mortgage size jumped 6.0% in February 2016 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have climbed from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen. Single-family home closings increased from 42.1% of new closings in March 2015 to 45.3% of closings in March 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 54.7% of closings from 57.9% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell 16.7% year-over-year to 2,443 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,989 square feet a year earlier to 2,691 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in March from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 29.8% of existing closings, lower than 41.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 5.8% in March from 18.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings gained to 24.0% from 22.1%.

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