The Tampa, FL market saw an increase in sales of new homes in March year-over-year, but there were suggestions the market may be leveling out with a percentage gain shallower than February 2012. New home sales saw a 13.9% jump from a year earlier to 377 after sales gained 28.5% in February from the year earlier.
A total of 4,455 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in March, up from 4,409 for the year that ended in February.
As a percentage of overall housing sales, new home sales accounted for 7.4% of overall housing sales. A year ago, 6.6% of total sales were new home sales. Sales of new and existing homes increased year-over-year in March after also rising in February year-over-year.
Pricing and Mortgage Trends
For newly sold homes, the average price dipped 1.3% year-over-year in March to $222,471 per unit. This decline follows a move from $216,398 per unit to $218,504 from February 2011 to February 2012.
The average mortgage size on new homes moved north year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. In March 2012, the average mortgage size was $198,009, up 7.6% from a year earlier. In February 2012, average mortgage size rose 3.8% from a year earlier. Of the overall sale price, the percentage that was being financed increased 7.3 percentage points year-over-year to 89.0% in March 2012.
Other Market Trends
Sales of attached units, as a percentage of new home sales, have grown from last year while sales of single-family homes have slumped. Attached unit sales climbed from 29.9% of all sales in March 2011 to 32.4% of sales in March 2012. Meanwhile, single-family home sales as a percentage of all new home sales fell to 67.6% of sales from 70.1% of sales.
The average unit size of newly sold homes fell 4.6% year-over-year to 1,740 square feet in March 2012. A drop was also seen in February 2012 when the average size of new homes sold declined 18.1% to 1,664 square feet.
Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) sales decreased in March from a year earlier, but stayed a drag on the market. Foreclosures and REO sales, taken together, made up 44.3% of existing sales, lower than 56.1% a year earlier. The percentage of existing home sales involving foreclosures rose to 25.5% in March from 18.2% a year earlier while REO sales as a percentage of existing home sales sank to 18.8% from 37.9% a year earlier.
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