In the Columbia, SC market in January, closings of new homes dropped year-over-year, and the decline was by a larger percentage than the December 2015. New home closings moved from 76 a year earlier to 6 after the figure moved from 160 in December 2014 to 19 in December 2015.

A total of 1,001 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, down from 1,071 for the year that ended in December.

On a percentage basis, new home closings as a part of total closings decreased to 0.9% from 10.5% a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in January after also falling in December year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of new homes was $218,075, compared with $227,535 last year. This followed a 26.4% fall in December from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size went down to $207,534 from $214,301 a year earlier. In December 2015, average mortgage size fell 30.3% 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 January 2016.

The average unit size of newly sold homes rose from 2,735 square feet a year earlier to 3,476 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in January from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 29.0% of closings, below 39.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 15.9% in January from 17.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 13.1% from 21.5% a year earlier.

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