In February, there was a drop year-over-year in new home closings in the Columbus, OH market, but there were signs of market improvement with a percentage fall less steep than in January 2016. There was a 70.3% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 74.7% fall year-over-year in January.

A total of 2,048 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, down from 2,164 for the year that ended in January.

New home closings represented 2.2% of overall housing closings. This is down from the 7.6% of closings a year earlier. After declining in January from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes remained level in February.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In February, the average price of newly sold homes rose 9.6% year-over-year to $328,431 per unit. This boost is smaller than the 10.9% hike in January year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. In February 2016, the average mortgage size was $270,826, a 11.0% lift from a year earlier. In January 2016, average mortgage size remained level from a year earlier at $244,842.

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 grew from 72.1% in February 2015 to 79.6% of closings in February 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units slid to 20.4% of closings from 27.9% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size declined 12.4% year-over-year to 2,244 square feet in February 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,751 square feet in January 2015 to 2,933 square feet in January 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in February from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 26.3% of closings, below 30.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 13.2% in February from 14.4% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 13.1% from 15.8% a year earlier.

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