In August, there was a decline year-over-year in new home closings in the Augusta, GA market, and with a percentage drop steeper than July 2015, there were signals the market may be worsening. There was a 54.6% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. This was after the housing market saw a 43.2% decline year-over-year in July.
A total of 1,258 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 1,341 for the year that ended in July.
Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 8.0%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings accounted for 16.3% of total closings. After rising year-over-year in July, closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in August.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In August, there was a 15.4% surge year-over-year in the average price of newly sold homes, reaching $252,688 per unit. This gain is higher than the 7.5% lift in July year-over-year.
Along with new home prices, there was an increase year-over-year in the average mortgage size on newly sold homes. In August 2015, the average mortgage size was $239,581, up 15.8% from a year earlier. In July 2015, average mortgage size climbed 5.9% from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
There has been little change in the composition of the market with regard to the types of properties sold. From a year ago, single-family home closings have moved from 99.3% of new home closings to 98.6% of closings while attached units have gone from 0.7% of closings to 1.4% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes slid 19.6% year-over-year to 2,073 square feet in August 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,901 square feet in July 2014 to 2,990 square feet in July 2015.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in August from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 25.3% of closings, below 37.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 11.8% in August from 22.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 13.6% from 14.7% a year earlier.