The Richmond, VA market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in March, a downhill move after a boost in February 2016. There was a 4.9% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 38.7% rise year-over-year in February.
A total of 2,295 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 2,303 for the year that ended in February.
Of the total number of closings, new home closings made up 8.7%. A year ago, new home closings represented 9.1%. Closings of new and existing homes stayed level after increasing in February year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In March, there was a 4.6% decline year-over-year in the average per-unit price of newly sold homes, settling at $354,167. This drop follows a move from $365,644 per unit to $366,784 from February 2015 to February 2016.
Average mortgage size on new homes saw a decline year-over-year in contrast to prices of new homes. In March 2016, there was a 1.5% fall in the average mortgage size on new homes to $309,653. Average mortgage size increased 5.9% in February 2016 from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes jumped from 78.5% in March 2015 to 90.3% of closings in March 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units dropped to 9.7% of closings from 21.5% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes remained steady year-over-year at 2,769 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,696 square feet a year earlier to 2,783 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in March, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 23.9% of existing home closings, down from 29.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 12.4% in March 2015 to 13.2% in March 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 10.7% from 16.6% a year earlier.