Closings of new homes fell year-over-year in March in the Boston, MA market, but the market seemed to be signaling improvement with a percentage fall less steep than in February 2016. There was a 50.9% drop in new home closings from a year earlier. This came after a 62.8% fall year-over-year in February.

A total of 1,104 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 1,161 for the year that ended in February.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings represented 1.3%. This is down from the 3.0% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in February, closings of new and existing homes also increased year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes sank by 2.5% year-over-year to $617,040 per unit in March. This decline is larger than the 1.9% fall in February from a year earlier.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a decline year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. Average mortgage size fell by 18.2% from a year earlier, settling at $407,495 in March. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 13.8% decline from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a percentage of new home closings, attached unit closings have climbed from last year while single-family home closings have dropped. Attached unit closings rose from 27.7% of all closings in March 2015 to 65.5% of closings in March 2016. At the same time, the share belonging to single-family homes slid to 34.5% of closings from 72.3% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes declined 23.5% year-over-year to 1,896 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,507 square feet a year earlier to 2,600 square feet.

Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 19.0% of existing home closings. They represented 19.0% in March 2015. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 8.8% in March from 10.1% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings grew to 10.3% from 8.9%.

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