In the Birmingham, AL market, closings of new homes sank year-over-year in March, and the percentage decline was more severe than February 2016, indicating the market may be worsening. New home closings saw a 82.6% fall from a year earlier to 16. This came after a 77.8% fall year-over-year in February.
A total of 502 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 578 for the year that ended in February.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 1.0%. This is down from the 5.4% of closings a year earlier. For new and existing homes, closings fell in March after also declining in February year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of new homes slid 9.1% year-over-year in March to $272,827 per unit. This fall is larger than the 1.2% drop in February from a year earlier.
Average mortgage size on new homes went from $236,451 in March 2015 to $235,496 in March 2016. Average mortgage size declined 8.2% in February 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 March 2016. Single-family home closings have made up all of new home closings while attached unit closings have accounted for no part of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size grew 1.7% year-over-year to 2,112 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,407 square feet a year earlier to 2,211 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in March from a year earlier, but remained a burden on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, accounted for 28.8% of existing closings, lower than 31.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 12.2% in March from 15.5% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 16.0% of existing home closings in March 2015 to 16.5% in March 2016.