Closings of new homes in the Columbus, OH market slid year-over-year in December, and the market seemed to be weakening with a percentage drop steeper than in November 2015. There was a 85.7% fall in new home closings from a year earlier. This was after the housing market saw a 76.0% decline year-over-year in November.
A total of 1,664 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 1,922 for the year that ended in November.
New home closings made up 1.6% of overall housing closings. This is a drop 10.2% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in December after also falling in November year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In December, the average value of new homes saw a 15.1% surge year-over-year as it grew to $342,498 per unit. This boost is better than the 10.7% gain in November year-over-year.
For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size declined year-over-year in contrast to average price of new homes. In December 2015, there was a 3.7% drop in the average mortgage size on new homes to $234,873. In November 2015, average mortgage size climbed 5.5% from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. Single-family home closings gained from 82.7% of new closings in December 2014 to 86.0% of closings in December 2015. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units declined to 14.0% of closings from 17.3% of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 22.1% year-over-year to 2,145 square feet in December 2015. This decline was opposite the price gain, a pattern also seen in November 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes sank 24.1% to 2,046 square feet. In November, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,697 square feet a year earlier to 2,046 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in December, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 22.5% of existing home closings, below 26.8% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 9.7% in December from 12.0% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 12.8% from 14.8% a year earlier.