The Lancaster, PA market saw an increase in closings of new homes in January year-over-year, moving north after a drop in December 2015. There was a 9.4% jump in new home closings from a year earlier. This followed a 15.2% decline year-over-year in December.

A total of 535 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in January, up from 532 for the year that ended in December.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 6.7%. This is a surge from 5.6% of closings a year earlier. Closings of new and existing homes dropped year-over-year in January after also falling in December year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

Average value of new homes sold in January was $288,127 per unit, down 1.5% from a year earlier. This decline compares to a 10.8% hike in December year-over-year.

The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. The average mortgage size rose to $258,607 in January, marking a 9.4% lift compared with a year earlier. In December 2015, average mortgage size jumped 2.5% 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 71.9% in January 2015 to 80.0% of closings in January 2016. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units sank to 20.0% of closings from 28.1% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size dropped 23.7% year-over-year to 1,688 square feet in January 2016. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 2,317 square feet in December 2014 to 2,197 square feet in December 2015.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings decreased in January from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Out of all existing home closings, foreclosures combined with REO closings accounted for 27.6% of closings, below 40.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures fell to 16.9% in January from 33.6% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings grew to 10.6% from 6.7%.

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