In the Columbia, SC market, closings of new homes fell year-over-year in November, but the decline was less than the year-over-year decline in October. New home closings moved from 70 a year earlier to 5 after the figure moved from 146 in October 2014 to 3 in October 2015.

A total of 576 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in November, down from 641 for the year that ended in October.

Last year, 70 of 762 total closings were new homes, and this percentage saw a decline as new home closings this year made up 5 of the 645 total closings. Following a year-over-year decline in October, closings of new and existing homes also declined year-over-year in November.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of new homes was $167,598, compared with $243,670 last year. This came after a 15.4% decline in October from a year earlier.

There was a decline in average mortgage size on new homes, going from $218,842 last year to $202,088 in November 2015. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $216,237 in October 2014 to $166,483 in October 2015.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in November 2015.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell from 2,356 square feet a year earlier to 1,745 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to rise in November from a year earlier and stayed a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 31.9% of existing home closings, up from 31.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 13.6% in November from 16.5% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings gained to 18.3% from 15.2%.

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