In February, the Birmingham, AL market saw a drop year-over-year in new home closings, but the decline was less than the year-over-year decline in January. New home closings moved from 81 a year earlier to 18 after the figure moved from 56 in January 2015 to 9 in January 2016.

A total of 578 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, down from 641 for the year that ended in January.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 1.4%. This is a decline 5.8% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes fell year-over-year in February after also falling in January year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average value of new homes sold in February was $269,689 per unit, down 1.2% from a year earlier. This fall is a drop off from the 32.8% decline in January from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes moved south year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. Average mortgage size declined by 8.2% from a year earlier, settling at $215,940 in February. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $237,564 in January 2015 to $203,803 in January 2016.

Other Market Trends

The share of new home closings made up by attached units has risen while the share belonging to single-family homes has fallen. Attached unit closings increased from 1.2% of all closings in February 2015 to 11.1% of closings in February 2016. At the same time, the share belonging to single-family homes sank to 88.9% of closings from 98.8% of closings.

There was a 8.1% decline year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,211 square feet in February 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,420 square feet in January 2015 to 2,802 square feet in January 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in February from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 34.4% of existing home closings, down from 35.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 17.3% in February from 15.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 17.1% from 19.8% a year earlier.

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