In the Birmingham, AL market, closings of new homes fell year-over-year in March, and the market seemed to be worsening in light of the percentage drop steeper than February 2016. New home closings saw a 82.6% decline from a year earlier to 16. This was after the housing market saw a 77.8% decline year-over-year in February.

A total of 502 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 578 for the year that ended in February.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 1.0%. This is down from the 5.4% of closings a year earlier. For new and existing homes, closings sank in March after also declining in February year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes fell by 9.1% year-over-year to $272,827 per unit in March. This drop is larger than the 1.2% decline in February from a year earlier.

In March 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes moved from $236,451 to $235,496 from March 2015. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 8.2% drop from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in March 2016. Single-family home closings have accounted for all of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up no part of closings.

There was a 1.7% gain year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,112 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,407 square feet in February 2015 to 2,211 square feet in February 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in March from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 28.8% of existing home closings, below 31.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 12.2% in March from 15.5% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 16.0% of existing home closings in March 2015 to 16.5% in March 2016.

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