In the Raleigh, NC market, new home closings declined year-over-year in December, but the percentage drop was less than that of November 2015, hinting that the market may be strengthening. New home closings saw a drop of 4.7% from the year earlier to 628. This came on the heels of a 5.2% drop year-over-year in November.

A total of 6,193 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 6,224 for the year that ended in November.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 30.6%. This is a rise from 28.6% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year decline in November, closings of new and existing homes also sank year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

For newly sold homes, the average price increased 1.4% year-over-year in December to $324,345 per unit. This bump is smaller than the 5.4% hike in November year-over-year.

There was a gain year-over-year in the average mortgage size on new homes along with new home prices. In December 2015, the average mortgage size was $270,401, a 2.5% surge from a year earlier. In November 2015, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 5.3% gain year-over-year from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

As a percentage of new home closings, attached unit closings have grown from last year while single-family home closings have dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units jumped from 24.6% of closings in December 2014 to 30.3% of closings in December 2015. Conversely, the share belonging to single-family homes sank to 69.7% of closings from 75.4% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes dropped 3.7% year-over-year to 2,549 square feet in December 2015. In November, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,612 square feet a year earlier to 3,031 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in December, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 13.1% of closings, below 14.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 6.9% in December 2014 to 6.8% in December 2015 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slid to 6.3% from 7.4% a year earlier.

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