In the Huntsville, AL market in February, new home closings sank year-over-year, and the percentage decline, which was steeper than January 2016, gave signs of weakening market conditions. Closings slid 16.7% from a year earlier to 40. This came after a 12.5% drop year-over-year in January.

A total of 741 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, down from 749 for the year that ended in January.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 8.0%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings accounted for 9.8% of total closings. Following a decline in January year-over-year, closings of new and existing homes gained year-over-year in February.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes dropped by 5.5% year-over-year to $230,901 per unit in February. This drop is a drop off from the 6.6% decline in January from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a lift year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In February 2016, there was a 1.7% lift in the average mortgage size, reaching $223,270. In January 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 3.7% drop 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 February 2016. Single-family home closings have represented all of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up no part of closings.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to rise in February from a year earlier and stayed a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 33.0% of existing home closings, above 32.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 15.8% in February from 14.2% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 18.0% of existing home closings in February 2015 to 17.3% in February 2016.

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