In the Boston, MA market, new home closings declined year-over-year in December, and the percentage drop was steeper than November 2015, suggesting the market may be worsening. New home closings saw a 53.7% decline from a year earlier to 38. This came after a 32.1% drop year-over-year in November.
A total of 728 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in December, down from 772 for the year that ended in November.
Out of all housing closings, new home closings represented 0.7%. New home closings were 1.7% of overall closings last year. For new and existing homes, closings increased year-over-year in December after also increasing in November year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
In December, there was a 14.5% drop year-over-year in the average per-unit price of newly sold homes, settling at $473,951. This decline is a drop off from the 22.9% fall in November from a year earlier.
Average mortgage size on new homes slid year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. It slid to $354,528 in December, a 9.9% drop. Average mortgage size sank 14.7% in November 2015 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 23.2% of all closings in December 2014 to 57.9% of closings in December 2015. Conversely, the share belonging to single-family homes declined to 42.1% of closings from 76.8% of closings.
For all new homes sold, the average unit size sank 21.7% year-over-year to 1,961 square feet in December 2015. A decrease in both the average size and price of newly sold homes was also seen in November 2015 when the average size grew 19.2% to 1,980 square feet. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,450 square feet in November 2014 to 1,980 square feet in November 2015.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in December, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 13.6% of existing home closings, down from 16.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dropped to 6.3% in December from 7.7% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 7.3% from 8.5% a year earlier.