The Columbus, OH market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in August, and there were hints the market may be weakening with a percentage drop steeper than July 2015. New home closings saw a 71.4% fall from a year earlier to 66. This came on the heels of a 51.2% drop year-over-year in July.

A total of 1,928 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 2,093 for the year that ended in July.

New home closings represented 1.8% of overall housing closings. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 5.1% of total closings. Following a year-over-year rise in July, closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in August.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In August, the average price of newly sold homes jumped 6.1% year-over-year to $305,438 per unit. This bump is better than the 5.5% gain in July year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. It rose 5.3% in August from a year earlier to $253,036. Average mortgage size increased 3.1% in July 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 climbed from 75.8% in August 2014 to 77.3% of closings in August 2015. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units declined to 22.7% of closings from 24.2% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes slid 3.2% year-over-year to 2,474 square feet in August 2015. This drop was opposite the price hike, a pattern also seen in July 2015 when the average size of newly sold homes slid 28.3% to 1,938 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,703 square feet in July 2014 to 1,938 square feet in July 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings increased in August from a year earlier and did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 20.3% of existing home closings, up from 20.0% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 10.6% in August from 11.9% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings increased to 9.7% from 8.1%.

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