The Lancaster, PA market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in September, but the fall in percentage terms was not as steep as August 2015, signaling market improvement. Closings fell 7.4% from a year earlier to 50. This came after a 20.0% fall year-over-year in August.

A total of 507 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in September, down from 511 for the year that ended in August.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 7.5%. This is down from the 9.0% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes increased year-over-year in September after also rising in August year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average per-unit price of newly sold homes gained year-over-year to $311,909 in September, up 17.0% from last year. This hike is smaller than the 26.8% gain in August year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes gained year-over-year along with new home prices. In September 2015, the average mortgage size was $240,310, up 5.0% from a year earlier. Average mortgage size rose 11.2% in August 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 grew from 57.4% in September 2014 to 82.0% of closings in September 2015. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units fell to 18.0% of closings from 42.6% of closings.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in September, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 18.8% of existing home closings, below 24.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 13.2% in September from 18.0% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 6.4% of existing home closings in September 2014 to 5.6% in September 2015.

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