Closings of new homes fell year-over-year in August in the Washington, DC market, and there were signs of weakening market conditions with a percentage drop steeper than that of July 2015. New home closings saw a decline of 21.4% from the year earlier to 797. This came on the heels of a 11.4% decline year-over-year in July.

A total of 10,239 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 10,456 for the year that ended in July.

New home closings made up 10.4% of overall housing closings. As a part of the whole, new home closings were 11.4% a year earlier. After rising year-over-year in July, closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in August.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes gained year-over-year 3.9% in August to $548,373 per unit. This surge compares to a 8.6% drop in July from a year earlier.

There was a surge year-over-year in the average mortgage size on new homes along with new home prices. In August 2015, the average mortgage size was $463,828, up 6.9% from a year earlier. Average mortgage size fell 4.1% in July 2015 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 grew from 46.8% of new closings in August 2014 to 51.8% of closings in August 2015. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings sank to 48.2% of closings from 53.2% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes dropped 4.9% year-over-year to 2,981 square feet in August 2015. In July, the average size of new homes sold went from 3,149 square feet a year earlier to 2,735 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in August, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 11.4% of existing home closings, down from 19.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 4.6% in August from 10.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 6.7% from 9.0% a year earlier.

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