In August, the Columbus, OH market saw a fall year-over-year in new home closings, and the percentage decline worsened from July 2015, indicating the market may be weakening. New home closings saw a 71.4% decline from a year earlier to 66. This came on the heels of a 51.2% decline year-over-year in July.
A total of 1,928 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 2,093 for the year that ended in July.
New home closings made up 1.8% of overall housing closings. This is a decline 5.1% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year rise in July, closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in August.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of newly sold homes rose year-over-year 6.1% in August to $305,438 per unit. This surge is higher than the 5.5% lift in July year-over-year.
Along with new home prices, there was an increase year-over-year in the average mortgage size on newly sold homes. It rose to $253,036 in August, a 5.3% boost. Average mortgage size increased 3.1% in July 2015 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 gained from 75.8% in August 2014 to 77.3% of closings in August 2015. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units dropped to 22.7% of closings from 24.2% of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size slid 3.2% year-over-year to 2,474 square feet in August 2015. This drop was opposite the price rise, a pattern also seen in July 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes declined 28.3% to 1,938 square feet. In July, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,703 square feet a year earlier to 1,938 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings increased in August from a year earlier and did not appear to be dragging the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 20.3% of existing home closings, up from 20.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 10.6% in August from 11.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings grew to 9.7% from 8.1%.