Closings of new homes declined year-over-year in March in the Cleveland, OH market, but the decline was less than the year-over-year decline in February. New home closings moved from 79 a year earlier to 16 after the figure moved from 63 in February 2015 to 9 in February 2016.

A total of 645 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 708 for the year that ended in February.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 0.5%. This is a fall 2.8% of closings a year earlier. For new and existing homes, closings jumped year-over-year in March after also increasing in February year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average value of new homes sold in March was $222,417 per unit, down 20.1% from a year earlier. This drop follows a move from $314,798 per unit to $316,267 from February 2015 to February 2016.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes dropped year-over-year in contrast to the average price of new homes. In March 2016, there was a 32.7% drop in the average mortgage size on new homes to $154,254. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $243,454 in February 2015 to $288,176 in February 2016.

Other Market Trends

Closings of attached units, as a percentage of new home closings, have climbed from last year while closings of single-family homes have dipped. Attached unit closings increased from 3.8% of all closings in March 2015 to 6.2% of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, single-family home closings as a percentage of all new home closings slid to 93.8% of closings from 96.2% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell 24.5% year-over-year to 1,861 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,612 square feet a year earlier to 3,183 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in March from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 38.6% of existing home closings, down from 40.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 19.6% in March 2015 to 19.8% in March 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 18.7% from 20.9% a year earlier.

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