Closings of new homes in the Columbia, SC market sank year-over-year in April, but the decline was less than the year-over-year decline in March. New home closings moved from 146 a year earlier to 6 after the figure moved from 134 in March 2015 to 3 in March 2016.

A total of 660 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 800 for the year that ended in March.

New home closings were 11.1% of total closings a year earlier, and this percentage saw a drop as new home closings this year made up 6 of the 883 total closings. Following a year-over-year decline in March, closings of new and existing homes also declined year-over-year in April.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of new homes was $210,667, compared with $243,630 last year. This was on the heels of a 18.1% bump in March year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a decline year-over-year from $218,812 to $195,988. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $202,088 in March 2015 to $189,237 in March 2016.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in April 2016.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell from 2,869 square feet a year earlier to 1,471 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in April from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 25.3% of existing home closings, down from 31.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 16.3% in April from 8.6% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 9.0% from 23.0% a year earlier.

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