New home closings dropped year-over-year in April in the Virginia Beach, VA market, but the percentage drop was less than that of March 2016, hinting that the market may be strengthening. New home closings saw a decline of 56.7% from the year earlier to 78. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 57.4% drop year-over-year in March.

A total of 1,627 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 1,729 for the year that ended in March.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 3.3%. This is down from the 7.0% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year decline in March, closings of new and existing homes also sank year-over-year in April.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes declined 2.9% year-over-year in April to $321,530 per unit. This fall is a drop off from the 3.8% decline in March from a year earlier.

In April 2016, average mortgage size on new homes went from $302,847 in April 2015 to $302,534 in April 2016. Average mortgage size gained 3.9% in March 2016 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Closings of attached units, as a percentage of new home closings, have risen from last year while closings of single-family homes have dipped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units rose from 26.7% of closings in April 2015 to 29.5% of closings in April 2016. At the same time, the share belonging to single-family homes dropped to 70.5% of closings from 73.3% of closings.

There was a 11.9% drop year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,067 square feet in April 2016. A decrease in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in March 2016 when the average size increased 14.9% to 1,915 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,251 square feet in March 2015 to 1,915 square feet in March 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in April from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 28.1% of existing home closings, down from 32.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 13.1% in April from 16.7% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 15.4% of existing home closings in April 2015 to 15.0% in April 2016.

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