In the Lancaster, PA market in September, closings of new homes dropped year-over-year, but there were signals the market may be leveling out with a percentage fall less steep as in August 2015. There was a 7.4% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 20.0% fall year-over-year in August.
A total of 507 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in September, down from 511 for the year that ended in August.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 7.5%. This is down from the 9.0% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes grew year-over-year in September after also rising in August year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average per-unit price of newly sold homes jumped year-over-year to $311,909 in September, up 17.0% from last year. This boost is smaller than the 26.8% gain in August year-over-year.
Along with new home prices, there was an increase year-over-year in the average mortgage size on newly sold homes. In September 2015, the average mortgage size was $240,310, up 5.0% from a year earlier. In August 2015, average mortgage size increased 11.2% from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
The percentage of new home closings belonging to single-family homes has risen from last year while the portion of new home closings belonging to attached units has dropped. Single-family home closings grew from 57.4% of new closings in September 2014 to 82.0% of closings in September 2015. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units dropped to 18.0% of closings from 42.6% of closings.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in September, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 18.8% of existing home closings, below 24.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 13.2% in September from 18.0% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 6.4% of existing home closings in September 2014 to 5.6% in September 2015.