New home closings fell year-over-year in March in the Roanoke, VA market, and the decline was by a larger percentage than the February 2016. New home closings moved from 8 a year earlier to 2 after the figure moved from 6 in February 2015 to 3 in February 2016.

A total of 45 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 51 for the year that ended in February.

On a percentage basis, new home closings as a part of total closings decreased to 0.5% from 2.0% a year earlier. After rising year-over-year in February, closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes rose to $319,975 from last year's $276,707. This was on the heels of a 32.1% rise in February year-over-year.

Average mortgage size on new homes rose from $233,371 to $295,183. Average mortgage size on new homes went from $179,093 in February 2015 to $372,995 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 rose from 1,943 square feet a year earlier to 2,298 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to increase in March from a year earlier and stayed a drag on the market. Foreclosures and REO closings, taken together, made up 31.7% of existing home closings, higher than 22.3% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 14.7% in March from 8.7% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings increased to 17.0% from 13.6%.

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