New home closings declined year-over-year in February in the Philadelphia, PA market, shifting downward off a bump in January 2016. Closings dropped 2.4% from a year earlier to 282. This was after the housing market saw a 16.2% climb year-over-year in January.

A total of 4,930 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, down from 4,937 for the year that ended in January.

Closings of new homes accounted for 5.5% of total closings, consistent with last year's figures. Following a year-over-year increase in January, closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in February.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes was $431,624 per unit in February, up 3.9%from a year earlier. This lift is an improvement over the 2.2% boost in January 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 climbed 2.9% in February from a year earlier to $323,318. Average mortgage size rose 4.3% in January 2016 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

Closings of attached units, as a percentage of new home closings, have climbed from last year while closings of single-family homes have dipped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units increased from 49.8% of closings in February 2015 to 51.8% of closings in February 2016. Meanwhile, single-family home closings as a percentage of all new home closings dropped to 48.2% of closings from 50.2% of closings.

There was a 21.0% fall year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,030 square feet in February 2016. This drop was opposite the price surge, a pattern also seen in January 2016 when the average size of newly sold homes slid 4.2% to 2,513 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,624 square feet in January 2015 to 2,513 square feet in January 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings fell in February from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 32.1% of existing home closings, down from 38.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 17.9% in February from 23.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 14.3% from 15.3% a year earlier.

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