In May, there was a decline year-over-year in new home closings in the Washington, DC market, but the decline in percentage terms was an improvement from April 2016, suggesting that the market may be stabilizing. Closings declined 3.6% from a year earlier to 845. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 5.8% decline year-over-year in April.

A total of 11,136 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in May, down from 11,168 for the year that ended in April.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings represented 8.6%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings accounted for 9.6% of total closings. For new and existing homes, closings climbed year-over-year in May after also increasing in April year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average price of newly sold homes had a 10.6% fall year-over-year to $506,511 per unit in May. This drop is larger than the 2.6% decline in April from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes declined year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. It slid 6.7% in May from a year earlier to $436,309. In April 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 1.2% drop from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. Single-family home closings increased from 45.2% of new closings in May 2015 to 47.0% of closings in May 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 53.0% of closings from 54.8% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes declined 19.0% year-over-year to 2,474 square feet in May 2016. A decrease in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in April 2016 when the average size rose 11.6% to 2,772 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 3,137 square feet in April 2015 to 2,772 square feet in April 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in May, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 11.9% of existing home closings, below 15.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 4.5% in May from 6.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 7.4% from 8.8% a year earlier.

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