The Columbus, OH market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in October, and the percentage decline, which was steeper than September 2015, gave signs of weakening market conditions. New home closings saw a 68.8% fall from a year earlier to 67. This came after a 66.4% fall year-over-year in September.
A total of 1,610 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in October, down from 1,758 for the year that ended in September.
New home closings made up 2.2% of overall housing closings. This is down from the 5.3% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in September, closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in October.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In October, the average price of newly sold homes sank year-over-year to $287,110 per unit, marking a 10.1% decline from the year-earlier figure. This decline follows a move from $295,274 per unit to $294,220 from September 2014 to September 2015.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a fall year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In October 2015, there was a 13.1% decline in the average mortgage size on new homes to $231,567. In September 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 8.6% drop from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
As a percentage of new home closings, attached unit closings have grown from last year while single-family home closings have dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units rose from 18.1% of closings in October 2014 to 22.4% of closings in October 2015. At the same time, the share belonging to single-family homes declined to 77.6% of closings from 81.9% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes increased 2.1% year-over-year to 2,529 square feet in October 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,381 square feet in September 2014 to 2,109 square feet in September 2015.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings increased in October from a year earlier and did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 22.6% of existing home closings, up from 20.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 10.5% in October from 13.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings climbed to 12.1% from 7.8%.