Closings of new homes in the Richmond, VA market declined year-over-year in August, and with a percentage decline steeper than July 2015, there were suggestions the market may be worsening. New home closings saw a drop of 34.1% from the year earlier to 108. This came on the heels of a 3.5% fall year-over-year in July.

A total of 1,800 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 1,856 for the year that ended in July.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 6.4%. This is down from the 9.5% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year decline in July, closings of new and existing homes also declined year-over-year in August.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes sank 9.2% year-over-year in August to $354,891 per unit. This fall compares to a 5.5% boost in July year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes moved south year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. Average mortgage size declined 5.5% to $307,168 in August from a year earlier. In July 2015, average mortgage size grew 4.3% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have climbed from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen. Single-family home closings climbed from 82.9% of new closings in August 2014 to 97.2% of closings in August 2015. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings slid to 2.8% of closings from 17.1% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes dropped 5.6% year-over-year to 2,862 square feet in August 2015. In July, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,729 square feet a year earlier to 2,524 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in August, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 20.2% of closings, below 25.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 10.6% in August from 13.6% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 9.6% from 11.6% a year earlier.

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