New home closings in the Baltimore, MD market sank year-over-year in October, and with a percentage drop steeper than September 2015, there were suggestions the market may be worsening. New home closings saw a 14.8% fall from a year earlier to 288. This came after a 4.8% drop year-over-year in September.

A total of 3,528 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in October, down from 3,578 for the year that ended in September.

New home closings were 7.9% of total number of closings, same as last year. Following a year-over-year decline in September, closings of new and existing homes also fell year-over-year in October.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price moved from $471,902 in October 2014 to $476,546 in October 2015. This was on the heels of a 4.6% lift in September year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a gain year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size rose to $396,510 in October, marking a 2.5% rise compared with a year earlier. In September 2015, average mortgage size grew 8.2% 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 46.7% of new home closings to 47.2% of closings while attached units have gone from 53.3% of closings to 52.8% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes slid 12.4% year-over-year to 2,657 square feet in October 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 3,132 square feet in September 2014 to 3,314 square feet in September 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in October from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 25.5% of closings, below 40.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 6.1% in October from 26.3% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings increased to 19.4% from 14.4%.

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