In April, there was a drop year-over-year in new home closings in the Lancaster, PA market, and there were suggestions the market may be weakening with a percentage drop steeper than March 2016. There was a 21.3% fall in new home closings from a year earlier. This came on the heels of a 2.8% drop year-over-year in March.
A total of 621 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in April, down from 631 for the year that ended in March.
As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 6.4%. This is down from the 8.3% of closings a year earlier. After dropping in March from a year earlier, closings of new and existing homes increased year-over-year in April.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
The average price of newly sold homes fell 7.2% year-over-year in April to $336,021 per unit. This drop compares to a 15.6% bump in March year-over-year.
The average mortgage size on newly sold homes declined year-over-year in contrast to the average price of new homes. It fell to $269,312 in April, a 1.5% drop. In March 2016, average mortgage size grew 20.0% from a year earlier.
Other Market Trends
Single-family homes accounted for a greater percentage of new home closings than last year. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes increased from 66.0% in April 2015 to 81.1% of closings in April 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units sank to 18.9% of closings from 34.0% of closings.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to fall from a year earlier in April, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 9.7% of closings, below 12.7% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 1.7% in April from 0.6% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 8.1% from 12.1% a year earlier.