New home closings in the Columbus, OH market dropped year-over-year in March, and the percentage drop was steeper than February 2016, giving suggestion the market may be worsening. There was a 55.0% drop in new home closings from a year earlier. This was after the housing market saw a 43.4% drop year-over-year in February.
A total of 2,202 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 2,339 for the year that ended in February.
New home closings represented 3.9% of overall housing closings. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 8.4% of total closings. Following a year-over-year increase in February, closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in March.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
For newly sold homes, the average price gained 2.5% year-over-year in March to $308,875 per unit. This gain is smaller than the 3.2% bump in February year-over-year.
There was a surge year-over-year in the average mortgage size on new homes along with new home prices. It rose 8.4% in March from a year earlier to $271,502. In February 2016, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 5.4% hike year-over-year 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 fallen. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units jumped from 22.1% of closings in March 2015 to 28.6% of closings in March 2016. At the same time, the share belonging to single-family homes fell to 71.4% of closings from 77.9% of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes rose 4.2% year-over-year to 2,628 square feet in March 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,442 square feet in February 2015 to 2,214 square feet in February 2016.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in March, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 20.5% of existing home closings, below 23.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 9.8% in March from 11.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 10.7% from 12.3% a year earlier.