In the Richmond, VA market in March, closings of new homes dropped year-over-year, a downhill move after a gain in February 2016. Closings sank 4.9% from a year earlier to 155. This came on the heels of a 38.7% hike year-over-year in February.

A total of 2,295 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 2,303 for the year that ended in February.

New home closings made up 8.7% of overall housing closings. A year ago, new home closings made up 9.1%. Closings of new and existing homes remained steady in March after rising in February year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average price of newly sold homes saw a 4.6% drop year-over-year in March to $354,167 per unit. This fall follows a move from $365,644 per unit to $366,784 from February 2015 to February 2016.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size slid year-over-year in contrast to average price of new homes. The average mortgage size slid to $309,653 in March, marking a 1.5% decline compared with last year. In February 2016, average mortgage size gained 5.9% 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. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes climbed from 78.5% in March 2015 to 90.3% of closings in March 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units sank to 9.7% of closings from 21.5% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes remained steady year-over-year at 2,769 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,696 square feet in February 2015 to 2,783 square feet in February 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 23.9% of existing home closings, down from 29.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 12.4% in March 2015 to 13.2% in March 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 10.7% from 16.6% a year earlier.

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