In March, the Port St. Lucie, FL market saw a fall year-over-year in new home closings, and the percentage decline that was steeper than February 2016 gave implications of worsening market conditions. There was a 41.9% fall in new home closings from a year earlier. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 4.8% decline year-over-year in February.
A total of 795 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 821 for the year that ended in February.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 3.1%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings accounted for 4.4% of total closings. Following a year-over-year decline in February, closings of new and existing homes also slid year-over-year in March.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
Average price of newly sold homes had a 13.5% decline year-over-year to $283,030 per unit in March. This fall compares to a 20.3% boost in February year-over-year.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size saw a fall year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. It declined 17.1% in March from a year earlier, reaching $185,501. In February 2016, average mortgage size grew 3.9% from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Closings of attached units, as a percentage of new home closings, have grown from last year while closings of single-family homes have fallen. Attached unit closings jumped from 9.7% of all closings in March 2015 to 27.8% of closings in March 2016. At the same time, the share belonging to single-family homes declined to 72.2% of closings from 90.3% of closings.
There was a 14.2% fall year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,999 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,474 square feet a year earlier to 2,665 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 21.7% of existing home closings, down from 33.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 8.2% in March from 15.1% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 13.6% from 18.1% a year earlier.