In the Columbia, SC market, closings of new homes sank year-over-year in December, but the decline was less than the year-over-year decline in November. New home closings moved from 128 a year earlier to 12 after the figure moved from 70 in November 2014 to 5 in November 2015.

A total of 461 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 577 for the year that ended in November.

Last year, 128 of 1,167 total closings were new homes, and this percentage saw a decline as new home closings this year made up 12 of the 741 total closings. For new and existing homes, closings dropped in December after also declining in November year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of new homes was $134,652, compared with $245,445 last year. This followed a 31.2% drop in November from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a decline year-over-year from $220,601 to $103,573. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $218,842 in November 2014 to $202,088 in November 2015.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in December 2015.

The average unit size of newly sold homes rose from 2,451 square feet a year earlier to 3,704 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in December from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 34.4% of closings, below 45.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 19.1% in December from 33.8% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings jumped to 15.4% from 12.0%.

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