In the Lancaster, PA market, closings of new homes declined year-over-year in May, but the fall in percentage terms was not as steep as April 2016, signaling market improvement. New home closings saw a drop of 18.9% from the year earlier to 43. This came on the heels of a 31.9% fall year-over-year in April.
A total of 568 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in May, down from 578 for the year that ended in April.
Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 5.8%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 7.4% of total closings. Following a year-over-year increase in April, closings of new and existing homes also climbed year-over-year in May.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In May, the average price of newly sold homes declined 3.7% year-over-year to $294,710 per unit. This fall is a drop off from the 11.1% drop in April from a year earlier.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size rose year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. It rose to $253,600 in May, a 4.8% lift. Average mortgage size dropped 1.5% in April 2016 from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes jumped from 56.6% in May 2015 to 69.8% of closings in May 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings slid to 30.2% of closings from 43.4% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes slid 23.1% year-over-year to 1,557 square feet in May 2016.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in May, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 13.4% of closings, below 20.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 6.3% in May from 11.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 7.0% from 8.2% a year earlier.