In the Athens, GA market in March, new home closings rose year-over-year, and with a stronger hike in comparison with February 2016, the market seems to be strengthening. Closings climbed 28.6% from a year earlier to 27. This was after the housing market saw a 6.7% rise year-over-year in February.

A total of 247 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 241 for the year that ended in February.

Of 340 total closings, 27 were of new homes. This is a surge from 6.6% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes increased year-over-year in March after also rising in February year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average value of new homes sold in March was $240,781 per unit, down 8.2% from a year earlier. This decline compares to a 22.2% gain in February year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes declined year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In March 2016, average mortgage size declined 3.8% from a year earlier to $213,821. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 13.3% bump year-over-year from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in March 2016. Single-family home closings have represented all of new home closings while attached unit closings have accounted for no part of closings.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 10.5% of existing home closings, down from 22.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 5.4% in March from 8.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 5.1% from 14.1% a year earlier.

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