Closings of new homes in the Augusta, GA market dropped year-over-year in September, but the percentage fall was an improvement from August 2015, suggesting the market may be stabilizing. New home closings saw a 51.9% fall from a year earlier to 62. This came after a 55.2% decline year-over-year in August.
A total of 1,196 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in September, down from 1,263 for the year that ended in August.
New home closings made up 6.8% of overall housing closings. This is a drop 16.4% of closings a year earlier. After dropping in August from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes increased year-over-year in September.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In September, there was a 7.8% surge year-over-year in the average price of newly sold homes, reaching $240,691 per unit. This rise is smaller than the 15.5% lift in August year-over-year.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a bump year-over-year along with new home prices. In September 2015, average mortgage size rose 9.0% from a year earlier to $228,052. In August 2015, average mortgage size increased 16.0% 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 September 2015. Single-family home closings have accounted for all of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up no part of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes dropped 20.2% year-over-year to 1,908 square feet in September 2015. This decline was opposite the price rise, a pattern also seen in August 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes dropped 19.4% to 2,073 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,572 square feet in August 2014 to 2,073 square feet in August 2015.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in September from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 27.1% of existing home closings, below 37.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 15.2% in September from 21.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 12.0% from 15.8% a year earlier.