New home closings in the Chattanooga, TN market dropped year-over-year in March, but the decline was less than the year-over-year decline in February. New home closings moved from 40 a year earlier to 22 after the figure moved from 27 in February 2015 to 12 in February 2016.

A total of 426 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 444 for the year that ended in February.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 2.5%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings accounted for 4.7% of total closings. After dropping in February from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes gained year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average price of newly sold homes saw a 9.3% gain year-over-year in March to $273,945 per unit. This rise compares to a 15.0% drop in February from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a surge year-over-year along with new home prices. In March 2016, the average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 18.2% surge from a year earlier. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $283,902 in February 2015 to $215,998 in February 2016.

Other Market Trends

The percentage of new home closings belonging to single-family homes has risen from last year while the portion of new home closings belonging to attached units has dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes jumped from 82.5% in March 2015 to 90.9% of closings in March 2016. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings fell to 9.1% of closings from 17.5% of closings.

There was a 18.5% decline year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 1,646 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 1,350 square feet a year earlier to 1,523 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 21.4% of existing home closings, below 23.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 8.7% in March from 11.9% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 12.0% of existing home closings in March 2015 to 12.7% in March 2016.

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