In the Gainesville, GA market in January, new home closings rose year-over-year, and the percentage hike was sharper than December 2015, hinting that the market may be strengthening. New home closings saw a 33.3% hike from a year earlier to 44. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 10.8% rise year-over-year in December.

A total of 757 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, up from 746 for the year that ended in December.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 16.7%. This is an increase on a percentage basis, as new home closings were 11.5% of total closings a year ago. Closings of new and existing homes dropped year-over-year in January after also falling in December year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average price of newly sold homes had a 5.5% decline year-over-year to $276,959 per unit in January. This fall is a drop off from the 7.1% drop in December from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes saw a decline year-over-year in contrast to prices of new homes. In January 2016, average mortgage size on new homes sold was $207,906, down 1.2% from a year earlier. In December 2015, average mortgage size slid 11.6% 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. Single-family home closings have represented all of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up no part of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes declined 19.0% year-over-year to 2,151 square feet in January 2016. A decrease in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in December 2015 when the average size grew 34.7% to 1,902 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,912 square feet in December 2014 to 1,902 square feet in December 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in January from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 27.7% of existing home closings, below 39.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 9.1% in January from 17.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 18.6% from 22.1% a year earlier.

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