The Columbus, GA market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in March, and the market seemed to be worsening in light of the percentage fall steeper than February 2016. There was a 37.5% drop in new home closings from a year earlier. This followed a 10.5% fall year-over-year in February.
A total of 225 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 234 for the year that ended in February.
Out of all housing closings, new home closings made up 4.6%. This is a drop 7.1% of closings a year earlier. After rising year-over-year in February, closings of new and existing homes declined year-over-year in March.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
For newly sold homes, the average price climbed 24.5% year-over-year in March to $271,840 per unit. This surge compares to a 4.1% decline in February from a year earlier.
Along with new home prices, there was an increase year-over-year in the average mortgage size on newly sold homes. In March 2016, there was a 13.6% gain in the average mortgage size, reaching $249,762. Average mortgage size went from $230,920 in February 2015 to $232,671 in February 2016.
Other Market Trends
There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in March 2016. Single-family home closings have made up all of new home closings while attached unit closings have represented no part of closings.
The average unit size of newly sold homes fell 64.2% year-over-year to 896 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,564 square feet a year earlier to 1,389 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in March from a year earlier, but remained a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 42.3% of existing home closings, below 44.6% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 25.6% in March from 21.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 16.7% from 23.4% a year earlier.