In the Winston-Salem, NC market, new home closings fell year-over-year in August, but the fall in percentage terms was not as harsh as July 2012, signaling market improvement. Closings slid 20.0% from a year earlier to 48. This followed a 26.6% decline year-over-year in July.

A total of 570 new homes were sold during the 12 months that ended in August, down from 582 for the year that ended in July.

As a percentage of overall housing closings, new home closings made up 8.1%. This is down from the a year earlier when new home closings accounted for 11.1% of total closings. For new and existing homes, closings increased year-over-year in August after also increasing in July year-over-year.

For newly sold homes, the average price sank 11.7% year-over-year in August to $164,594 per unit. This drop is larger than the 2.5% decline in July from a year earlier.

Average mortgage size on new homes saw a decline year-over-year in contrast to prices of new homes. It fell 4.0% in August from a year earlier, reaching $162,230. In July 2012, average mortgage size on newly sold homes saw a 1.6% decline from a year earlier. On average, the percentage of new home sale price being financed saw a 8.0 percentage point rise from a year earlier. It went from 90.9% in July 2011 to 91.8% in July 2012.

There was no change in the composition of the new-home market with regard to the types of properties sold in August 2012. Single-family home closings have represented 91.7% of new home closings while attached unit closings have made up 8.3% of closings.

The average unit size of newly sold homes dropped 32.5% year-over-year to 1,259 square feet in August 2012. The average size of newly sold homes moved from 1,551 square feet in July 2011 to 1,808 square feet in July 2012.

Foreclosures and real estate owned (REO) closings remained level in August from a year earlier, but remained a drag on the market. Together, foreclosures plus REO closings accounted for 43.0% of existing home closings, about the same as a year earlier. The percentage of existing home closings involving foreclosures rose to 25.8% in August from 22.5% a year earlier while REO closings as a percentage of existing home closings slipped to 17.2% from 20.2% a year earlier.

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