New home closings in the Columbia, SC market fell year-over-year in March, and the decline was by a larger percentage than the February 2016. New home closings moved from 134 a year earlier to 3 after the figure moved from 84 in February 2015 to 9 in February 2016.

A total of 800 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 931 for the year that ended in February.

New home closings were 13.1% of total closings a year earlier, and this percentage saw a fall as new home closings this year made up 3 of the 819 total closings. Closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in March after remaning steady in February year-over-year.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average new home price was $258,743, up from $219,107 a year earlier. This came after a 24.9% fall in February from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes fell from $202,088 to $189,237. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $223,536 in February 2015 to $181,500 in February 2016.

Other Market Trends

There was no change in the composition of the new home market with regard to the types of properties sold in March 2016.

The average unit size of newly sold homes fell from 2,264 square feet a year earlier to 1,688 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings declined in March from a year earlier, but remained a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 25.2% of existing home closings, below 34.9% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures declined to 11.3% in March from 15.2% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings dropped to 14.0% from 19.7% a year earlier.

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