Closings of new homes grew year-over-year in February in the Winston-Salem, NC market, and the percentage lift, which was better than January 2016, suggested the market may be improving. There was a 11.3% boost in new home closings from a year earlier. This came on the heels of a 4.3% hike year-over-year in January.

A total of 861 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, up from 855 for the year that ended in January.

Of the total number of closings, new home closings made up 11.0%. New home closings were 10.8% of overall closings last year. Following a year-over-year increase in January, closings of new and existing homes also grew year-over-year in February.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes sank by 8.4% year-over-year to $191,180 per unit in February. This decline compares to a 7.8% surge in January year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes fell year-over-year in contrast to the average price of new homes. It fell 8.5% in February from a year earlier to $172,176. In January 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 1.5% gain year-over-year from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

There has been little change in the composition of the market with regard to the types of properties sold. From a year ago, single-family home closings have moved from 88.7% of new home closings to 88.1% of closings while attached units have gone from 11.3% of closings to 11.9% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size slid 21.2% year-over-year to 1,686 square feet in February 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,120 square feet in January 2015 to 1,326 square feet in January 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in February from a year earlier, but remained a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 26.1% of existing closings, lower than 34.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 11.1% in February from 13.3% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 15.0% from 21.1% a year earlier.

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