There was a rise in new home closings in the Durham, NC market in December year-over-year, and with a stronger rise than November 2015, there are suggestions the market may be bolstering. New home closings saw a boost of 28.8% from the year earlier to 188. This came on the heels of a 25.7% hike year-over-year in November.

A total of 1,758 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, up from 1,716 for the year that ended in November.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings represented 25.4%. This marks a rise from 21.8% of total closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in November, closings of new and existing homes also gained year-over-year in December.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes gained year-over-year in December to $334,097 per unit, a rise of 2.0%. This surge is higher than the 1.8% gain in November year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average mortgage size jumped year-over-year along with new home prices. In December 2015, average mortgage size gained 4.5% from a year earlier to $268,907. Average mortgage size grew 1.5% in November 2015 from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The share of new home closings made up by attached units has risen while the share belonging to single-family homes has fallen. The share of new home closings belonging to attached units rose from 17.8% of closings in December 2014 to 26.6% of closings in December 2015. Conversely, the share belonging to single-family homes slid to 73.4% of closings from 82.2% of closings.

There was a 11.5% bump year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,643 square feet in December 2015. An increase was also seen in November 2015 when the average size of new homes sold increased 16.4% to 3,057 square feet. In November, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,627 square feet a year earlier to 3,057 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in December, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings made up 15.4% of existing home closings, down from 23.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures sank to 6.0% in December from 14.7% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings grew to 9.4% from 8.4%.

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