New home closings in the Philadelphia, PA market sank year-over-year in April, but the decline in percentage terms was not as steep as March 2016, signaling market improvement. Closings declined 15.7% from a year earlier to 300. This was after the housing market saw a 19.3% fall year-over-year in March.

A total of 4,841 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 4,897 for the year that ended in March.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 4.1%. As a part of the whole, new home closings were 5.0% a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in March, closings of new and existing homes also climbed year-over-year in April.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes went from $438,313 in April 2015 to $437,397 in April 2016. This was on the heels of a move from $417,700 per unit to $421,268 from March 2015 to March 2016.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a surge year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In April 2016, the average mortgage size was $332,984, up 2.8% from a year earlier. In March 2016, average mortgage size sank 1.4% 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 48.6% in April 2015 to 53.7% of closings in April 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units declined to 46.3% of closings from 51.4% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes sank 30.0% year-over-year to 1,786 square feet in April 2016. In March, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,623 square feet a year earlier to 2,395 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to increase in April from a year earlier and stayed a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 29.1% of existing home closings, above 28.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 15.7% in April 2015 to 16.5% in April 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings stayed level at 12.6%.

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