In March, there was a fall year-over-year in new home closings in the Dover, DE market, but there were suggestions of market improvement with a percentage decline less steep than in February 2016. New home closings saw a 13.5% fall from a year earlier to 45. This came after a 35.0% drop year-over-year in February.

A total of 554 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 561 for the year that ended in February.

New home closings accounted for 22.7% of overall housing closings. This is down from the 31.9% of closings a year earlier. After remaining steady in February from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes jumped in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average value of newly sold homes moved to $263,979 in March 2016 from $261,633 in March 2015. This was on the heels of a 4.0% rise in February year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size rose to $234,818 in March, marking a 3.6% hike compared with a year earlier. In February 2016, average mortgage size gained 15.4% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have climbed from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen. Single-family home closings jumped from three quarters of new closings in March 2015 to 93.3% of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings fell to 6.7% of closings from a quarter of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes declined 18.2% year-over-year to 1,924 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,295 square feet a year earlier to 1,568 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to rise in March from a year earlier and remained a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, represented 42.5% of existing home closings, up from 33.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 27.5% in March from 16.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 15.0% from 17.1% a year earlier.

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