The Allentown, PA market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in October, but the percentage fall was less than that of September 2015, hinting that the market may be strengthening. New home closings saw a 20.0% decline from a year earlier to 52. This was after the housing market saw a 24.3% decline year-over-year in September.
A total of 631 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in October, down from 644 for the year that ended in September.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 5.3%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 6.8% of total closings. Following a year-over-year increase in September, closings of new and existing homes also grew year-over-year in October.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
For newly sold homes, the average price climbed 21.9% year-over-year in October to $403,052 per unit. This boost is an improvement over the 19.0% rise in September year-over-year.
The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. In October 2015, average mortgage size climbed 33.1% from a year earlier to $326,378. In September 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 28.6% rise year-over-year from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes rose from 58.5% in October 2014 to 61.5% of closings in October 2015. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 38.5% of closings from 41.5% of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 16.9% year-over-year to 1,851 square feet in October 2015. This decline was opposite the price boost, a pattern also seen in September 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes dropped 12.2% to 1,951 square feet. In September, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,223 square feet a year earlier to 1,951 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in October from a year earlier, but remained a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 27.4% of existing closings, lower than 31.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 15.0% in October from 16.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 12.4% from 14.1% a year earlier.