There was a rise in closings of new homes in the Portland, ME market in March year-over-year, and the increase was similar to February 2016. New home closings moved from 3 a year earlier to 5 after the figure moved from 3 in February 2015 to 5 in February 2016.

A total of 73 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 71 for the year that ended in February.

5 of the 311 total closings were new home closings, a shift on a percentage basis from 3 out of 215 a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in February, closings of new and existing homes also jumped year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of new homes was $236,372, compared with $315,402 last year. This came after a 76.2% hike in February year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes fell from $252,322 to $212,051. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $181,614 in February 2015 to $319,960 in February 2016.

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.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell from 2,115 square feet a year earlier to 1,351 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 10.1% of existing home closings, down from 17.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 2.0% in March from 5.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 8.2% from 12.7% a year earlier.

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