New home closings in the Augusta, GA market fell year-over-year in April, and the percentage drop, which was steeper than March 2016, gave signals of weakening market conditions. New home closings saw a 47.7% decline from a year earlier to 79. This came on the heels of a 35.8% fall year-over-year in March.

A total of 1,376 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 1,448 for the year that ended in March.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 9.8%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 15.1% of total closings. After remaining steady in March from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes dropped year-over-year in April.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes was $238,824 per unit in April, up 6.5%from a year earlier. This gain is higher than the 2.5% lift in March year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes jumped year-over-year along with new home prices. Average mortgage size climbed 4.3% to $221,711 in April from a year earlier. Average mortgage size rose 3.6% in March 2016 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 April 2016. Single-family home closings have accounted for 98.7% of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up 1.3% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size declined 5.9% year-over-year to 2,568 square feet in April 2016. In March, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,669 square feet a year earlier to 2,740 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in April from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 27.4% of closings, below 30.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 12.8% in April 2015 to 13.3% in April 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 14.1% from 18.0% a year earlier.

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