In the Washington, DC market in October, new home closings slid year-over-year, but the percentage drop, which was less steep than in September 2015, seemed to be hinting at market improvement. New home closings saw a drop of 8.4% from the year earlier to 794. This was after the housing market saw a 8.5% decline year-over-year in September.

A total of 10,370 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in October, down from 10,443 for the year that ended in September.

New home closings accounted for 10.7% of overall housing closings. They accounted for 11.3% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year rise in September, closings of new and existing homes slid year-over-year in October.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In October, the average price of newly sold homes grew 3.8% year-over-year to $529,748 per unit. This rise compares to a 1.4% fall in September from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a lift year-over-year along with new home prices. In October 2015, the average mortgage size was $447,973, up 4.4% from a year earlier. Average mortgage size went from $440,539 in September 2014 to $436,833 in September 2015.

Other Market Trends

As a percentage of new home closings, attached unit closings have risen from last year while single-family home closings have dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units grew from 45.2% of closings in October 2014 to 51.4% of closings in October 2015. At the same time, the share belonging to single-family homes dropped to 48.6% of closings from 54.8% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size declined 22.4% year-over-year to 2,527 square feet in October 2015. In September, the average size of new homes sold went from 3,076 square feet a year earlier to 2,708 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in October, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings made up 16.5% of closings, below 21.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 7.1% in October from 13.2% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 8.5% of existing home closings in October 2014 to 9.4% in October 2015.

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