There was a rise in new home closings in the Ocala, FL market in March year-over-year, but with a rise less sharp than February 2016, there were suggestions the market may be stabilizing. Closings climbed 34.2% from a year earlier to 51. This came on the heels of a 37.5% climb year-over-year in February.

A total of 444 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 431 for the year that ended in February.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 6.7%. This is an increase on a percentage basis, as new home closings were 5.1% of total closings a year ago. Closings of new and existing homes increased year-over-year in March after also rising in February year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes declined 12.4% year-over-year in March to $220,802 per unit. This drop compares to a 11.7% boost in February year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes saw a fall year-over-year in contrast to prices of new homes. Average mortgage size fell by 9.9% from a year earlier, settling at $187,737 in March. In February 2016, average mortgage size rose 3.1% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. Single-family home closings climbed from 97.4% of new closings in March 2015 to all of closings in March 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units fell to no part of closings from 2.6% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size declined 34.7% year-over-year to 1,276 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,166 square feet a year earlier to 1,810 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in March from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 29.5% of existing closings, lower than 46.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 10.6% in March from 18.5% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings fell to 18.8% from 27.9% a year earlier.

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