In the Augusta, GA market in December, closings of new homes slid year-over-year, and the percentage fall that was steeper than November 2015 gave implications of worsening market conditions. New home closings saw a 46.5% fall from a year earlier to 76. This came on the heels of a 37.9% fall year-over-year in November.

A total of 1,385 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 1,451 for the year that ended in November.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 9.9%. This is a drop 16.4% of closings a year earlier. For new and existing homes, closings declined in December after also declining in November year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price climbed 10.1% year-over-year in December to $241,329 per unit. This surge is better than the 6.1% rise in November year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size saw a 11.3% surge year-over-year to $233,033 in December. In November 2015, average mortgage size grew 7.3% 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 97.2% in December 2014 to all of closings in December 2015. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to no part of closings from 2.8% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size jumped 19.2% year-over-year to 3,066 square feet in December 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,664 square feet in November 2014 to 2,397 square feet in November 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in December from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 27.9% of existing home closings, below 36.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 12.6% in December from 18.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 15.2% from 17.3% a year earlier.

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