In the Washington, DC market, closings of new homes dropped year-over-year in April, and there were suggestions the market may be worsening with a percentage drop steeper than that of March 2016. There was a 15.2% drop in new home closings from a year earlier. This came on the heels of a 6.6% decline year-over-year in March.

A total of 10,939 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 11,056 for the year that ended in March.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 8.4% of overall housing closings. A year ago, new home closings represented 9.2%. Closings of new and existing homes dropped year-over-year in April after also falling in March year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average price of newly sold homes had a 3.5% drop year-over-year to $541,607 per unit in April. This fall is larger than the 2.2% decline in March from a year earlier.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size dropped year-over-year in contrast to average price of new homes. In April 2016, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 2.6% decline from a year earlier. Average mortgage size dropped 2.0% in March 2016 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The share of new home closings made up by attached units has risen while the share belonging to single-family homes has fallen. Attached unit closings jumped from 49.4% of all closings in April 2015 to 50.8% of closings in April 2016. At the same time, the share belonging to single-family homes declined to 49.2% of closings from 50.6% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell 12.6% year-over-year to 2,752 square feet in April 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 3,081 square feet in March 2015 to 2,722 square feet in March 2016. A decline was also seen in March 2016 when the average size of new homes sold dropped 11.7% to 2,722 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in April, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 13.2% of closings, below 17.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 5.1% in April from 8.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 8.1% from 9.8% a year earlier.

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