New home closings grew year-over-year in March in the Orlando, FL market, and the percentage gain was an improvement from February 2016, suggesting the market may be gaining momentum. There was a 26.5% rise in new home closings from a year earlier. This came on the heels of a 23.5% jump year-over-year in February.
A total of 9,245 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 9,068 for the year that ended in February.
Of 5,286 total closings, 844 were of new homes. This is an increase on a percentage basis, as new home closings were 11.8% of total closings a year ago. 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 stayed level year-over-year at $333,704 per unit. This comes after a 1.1% gain in February year-over-year.
The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. In March 2016, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 4.6% rise from a year earlier. Average mortgage size grew 3.1% in February 2016 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 climbed from 79.5% in March 2015 to 84.2% of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings dropped to 15.8% of closings from 20.5% of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size jumped 4.2% year-over-year to 2,684 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,508 square feet a year earlier to 2,487 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in March from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 28.0% of existing home closings, down from 44.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 11.5% in March from 20.1% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 16.5% from 24.3% a year earlier.