In the Columbus, GA market, new home closings declined year-over-year in August, and there were signs the market may be weakening with a percentage decline steeper than July 2015. There was a 19.2% drop in new home closings from a year earlier. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 11.5% decline year-over-year in July.
A total of 245 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 250 for the year that ended in July.
Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 6.6%. This is down from the 7.7% of closings a year earlier. After rising year-over-year in July, closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in August.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In August, there was a 6.4% surge year-over-year in the average price of newly sold homes, reaching $253,110 per unit. This bump is smaller than the 7.5% gain in July year-over-year.
The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. In August 2015, the average mortgage size was $236,707, up 1.3% from a year earlier. In July 2015, average mortgage size increased 13.8% from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in August 2015. Single-family home closings have represented all of new home closings while attached unit closings have accounted for no part of closings.
There was a 35.8% hike year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 3,446 square feet in August 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,575 square feet in July 2014 to 2,356 square feet in July 2015.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in August from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 37.3% of existing home closings, below 42.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures went from 21.2% in August 2014 to 20.7% in August 2015 and REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 16.6% from 21.2% a year earlier.