New home closings in the Dover, DE market fell year-over-year in March, but there were signs that the market may be stabilizing with a percentage decline less steep than in February 2016. There was a 13.5% fall in new home closings from a year earlier. This followed a 35.0% drop year-over-year in February.

A total of 554 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 561 for the year that ended in February.

New home closings made up 22.7% of overall housing closings. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 31.9% of total closings. After remaining steady in February from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes climbed in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average value of newly sold homes moved to $263,979 in March 2016 from $261,633 in March 2015. This came after a 4.0% surge in February year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes gained year-over-year along with the average price of new homes. In March 2016, there was a 3.6% boost in the average mortgage size, reaching $234,818. Average mortgage size jumped 15.4% in February 2016 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 grew from three quarters of new closings in March 2015 to 93.3% of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings dropped to 6.7% of closings from a quarter of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes declined 18.2% year-over-year to 1,924 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,295 square feet in February 2015 to 1,568 square feet in February 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to rise in March from a year earlier and remained a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 42.5% of existing home closings, above 33.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 27.5% in March from 16.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 15.0% from 17.1% a year earlier.

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