Closings of new homes fell year-over-year in March in the Fargo, ND market, and the percentage fall worsened from February 2016, indicating the market may be weakening. There was a 59.2% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. This was after the housing market saw a 48.6% decline year-over-year in February.

A total of 490 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 519 for the year that ended in February.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings represented 7.5%. This is a fall 15.6% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in March after remaning steady in February year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In March, the average value of new homes saw a 19.1% rise year-over-year as it grew to $344,256 per unit. This surge is higher than the 13.3% hike in February year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. Average mortgage size gained 12.5% to $275,227 in March from a year earlier. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 8.5% boost year-over-year from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes rose from 95.9% in March 2015 to all of closings in March 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units declined to no part of closings from 4.1% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size climbed 12.7% year-over-year to 2,005 square feet in March 2016. An increase was also seen in February 2016 when the average size of new homes sold rose 26.6% to 2,283 square feet. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 1,803 square feet a year earlier to 2,283 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings rose in March from a year earlier and did not look to be a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 8.9% of existing home closings, above 7.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 2.6% in March 2015 to 3.2% in March 2016 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings grew to 5.6% from 4.5%.

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