The Richmond, VA market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in August, and there were signs of worsening market conditions as the percentage decline was steeper than July 2015. Closings dropped 34.1% from a year earlier to 108. In comparison, new home closings in the same month last year saw a 3.5% decline year-over-year in July.

A total of 1,800 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 1,856 for the year that ended in July.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings accounted for 6.4%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings represented 9.5% of total closings. Following a year-over-year decline in July, closings of new and existing homes also slid year-over-year in August.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes declined 9.2% year-over-year in August to $354,891 per unit. This fall compares to a 5.5% boost in July year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes declined year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. Average mortgage size slid 5.5% to $307,168 in August from a year earlier. In July 2015, average mortgage size grew 4.3% from a year earlier.

Other Market Trends

The percentage of new home closings belonging to single-family homes has risen from last year while the portion of new home closings belonging to attached units has dropped. The share of new home closings belonging to single-family homes climbed from 82.9% in August 2014 to 97.2% of closings in August 2015. Meanwhile, attached units as a percentage of all new home closings slid to 2.8% of closings from 17.1% of closings.

There was a 5.6% drop year-over-year in the average unit size of newly sold homes to 2,862 square feet in August 2015. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,729 square feet in July 2014 to 2,524 square feet in July 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to decline from a year earlier in August, but did not appear to be dragging the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings represented 20.2% of closings, below 25.2% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 10.6% in August from 13.6% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings declined to 9.6% from 11.6% a year earlier.

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