New home closings in the Florence, SC market sank year-over-year in January, and the decline was by a larger percentage than the December 2015. New home closings moved from 12 a year earlier to 1 after the figure moved from 19 in December 2014 to 7 in December 2015.

A total of 114 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, down from 125 for the year that ended in December.

On a percentage basis, new home closings as a part of total closings decreased to 0.9% from 8.3% a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes dropped year-over-year in January after also falling in December year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average new home price was $169,900, down from $210,030 a year earlier. This was on the heels of a 30.5% fall in December from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size went down to $152,910 from $176,770 a year earlier. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $198,528 in December 2014 to $154,444 in December 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 January 2016.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell from 2,227 square feet a year earlier to 1,665 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to rise in January from a year earlier and remained a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 32.7% of existing home closings, above 29.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 13.6% in January from 16.5% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings increased to 19.1% from 12.8%.

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