In the Augusta, GA market, new home closings declined year-over-year in February, but the percentage fall was not as steep as January 2016, suggesting market improvement. New home closings saw a decline of 29.2% from the year earlier to 85. This came on the heels of a 31.0% drop year-over-year in January.

A total of 1,480 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, down from 1,515 for the year that ended in January.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 10.2%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings accounted for 15.7% of total closings. Following a year-over-year increase in January, closings of new and existing homes also jumped year-over-year in February.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In February, there was a 18.1% bump year-over-year in the average price of newly sold homes, reaching $244,322 per unit. This lift is smaller than the 19.3% boost in January year-over-year.

There was a lift year-over-year in the average mortgage size on new homes along with new home prices. It climbed 17.1% in February from a year earlier to $232,283. In January 2016, average mortgage size gained 9.9% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a share of new home closings, single-family home closings have climbed from last year while the share belonging to attached units has fallen. Single-family home closings gained from 95.0% of new closings in February 2015 to all of closings in February 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units fell to no part of closings from 5.0% of closings.

There was a 24.9% fall year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,864 square feet in February 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,513 square feet in January 2015 to 2,905 square feet in January 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to increase in February from a year earlier and remained a drag on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 34.8% of existing home closings, higher than 31.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 20.8% in February from 13.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 14.0% from 17.8% a year earlier.

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