In the Wilmington, NC market in February, closings of new homes dropped year-over-year, but the fall in percentage terms was not as steep as January 2016, signaling market improvement. Closings declined 63.4% from a year earlier to 30. This followed a 74.2% fall year-over-year in January.

A total of 810 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in February, down from 862 for the year that ended in January.

New home closings accounted for 4.9% of overall housing closings. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings made up 13.2% of total closings. Following a year-over-year decline in January, closings of new and existing homes also slid year-over-year in February.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

In February, there was a 10.6% rise year-over-year in the average price of newly sold homes, reaching $274,757 per unit. This bump follows a move from $273,627 per unit to $271,292 from January 2015 to January 2016.

Along with new home prices, there was an increase year-over-year in the average mortgage size on newly sold homes. The average mortgage size saw a 10.4% lift year-over-year to $238,015 in February. In January 2016, average mortgage size dropped 3.2% 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. Attached unit closings gained from 8.5% of all closings in February 2015 to 10.0% of closings in February 2016. Meanwhile, single-family home closings as a percentage of all new home closings declined to 90.0% of closings from 91.5% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 8.8% year-over-year to 1,929 square feet in February 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,235 square feet in January 2015 to 2,257 square feet in January 2016.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in February, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings made up 17.8% of closings, below 22.5% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 8.1% in February from 10.1% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings sank to 9.7% from 12.5% a year earlier.

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