In August, the Baltimore, MD market saw a drop year-over-year in new home closings, but the percentage drop, which was less than that of July 2015, gave hints that the market may be leveling out. New home closings saw a 35.5% decline from a year earlier to 176. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 43.9% decline year-over-year in July.

A total of 3,263 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 3,360 for the year that ended in July.

New home closings made up 6.2% of overall housing closings. A year ago, new home closings accounted for 6.8%. For new and existing homes, closings dropped in August after also declining in July year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes increased year-over-year in August to $503,999 per unit, a rise of 9.1%. This lift is better than the 4.1% rise in July year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, average mortgage size moved from $394,351 in August 2014 to $398,079 in August 2015. Average mortgage size climbed 4.0% in July 2015 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

There has been little change in the composition of the market with regard to the types of properties sold. From a year ago, single-family home closings have moved from 44.7% of new home closings to 45.5% of closings while attached units have gone from 55.3% of closings to 54.5% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes increased 20.0% year-over-year to 3,522 square feet in August 2015. An increase in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in July 2015 when the average size gained 7.1% to 3,198 square feet. In July, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,986 square feet a year earlier to 3,198 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in August, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 20.9% of existing closings, lower than 31.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 3.2% in August from 17.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings jumped to 17.7% from 13.6%.

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