The Lancaster, PA market saw a drop in new home closings year-over-year in March, curving down after an increase in February 2016. There was a 2.8% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. This followed a 59.3% rise year-over-year in February.

A total of 630 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, down from 631 for the year that ended in February.

Out of all housing closings, new home closings accounted for 6.7%. As a part of the whole, new home closings were 6.4% a year earlier. Following a year-over-year rise in February, closings of new and existing homes sank year-over-year in March.

Pricing and Mortgage Trends

The average price of new homes gained year-over-year in March to $316,546 per unit, a rise of 15.6%. This boost follows a move from $304,837 per unit in February 2015 to $301,945 in February 2016.

The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year along with new home prices. The average mortgage size saw a 20.0% lift year-over-year to $253,774 in March. Average mortgage size declined 1.8% in February 2016 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. Single-family home closings gained from 69.4% of new closings in March 2015 to 77.1% of closings in March 2016. At the same time, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units fell to 22.9% of closings from 30.6% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes increased more than twofold year-over-year to 5,491 square feet in March 2016. In February, the average size of new homes sold went from 2,204 square feet a year earlier to 1,540 square feet.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings continued to drop from a year earlier in March, but did not look to be a burden on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 22.0% of existing home closings, below 29.4% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures slid to 13.0% in March from 20.1% a year earlier and REO closings moved from 9.4% of existing home closings in March 2015 to 9.1% in March 2016.

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