Closings of new homes slipped year-over-year in August in the Wilmington, NC market, but with a percentage decline less severe than July 2012, there are signals the market may be leveling out. There was a 9.8% decline in new home closings from a year earlier. This came after a 19.3% decline year-over-year in July.

A total of 1,159 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 1,171 for the year that ended in July.

New home closings made up 12.4% of overall housing closings, down from the 17.8% of closings a year earlier. Following a year-over-year increase in July, closings of new and existing homes also grew year-over-year in August.

The average price of newly sold homes slid 17.8% year-over-year in August to $219,415 per unit. This drop is larger than the 14.5% decline in July from a year earlier.

The average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a drop year-over-year in contrast to new home prices. It dropped 10.4% in August from a year earlier, reaching $195,153. In July 2012, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 10.8% fall from a year earlier. Of the overall sale price, the percentage that was being financed rose 7.4 percentage points year-over-year to 88.9% in August 2012.

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 increased from 91.8% in August 2011 to 96.4% of closings in August 2012. Conversely, the share of new home closings belonging to attached units sank to 3.6% of closings from 8.2% of closings.

For all new homes sold, the average unit size fell 17.7% year-over-year to 1,746 square feet in August 2012. The decline in size was less sharp than the fall in average price of newly sold homes, making the movement similar to July 2012 when the average size saw a 2.3% declined to 2,159 square feet from a year earlier.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings remained a drag on the market. Combined, foreclosures plus REO closings represented 32.6% of existing home closings. They accounted for 33.8% in August 2011. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures dipped to 13.3% in August from 16.7% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings increased to 19.2% from 17.1%.

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