Lower Eastern Shore, Md. – Local market activity continues to fall behind last year’s numbers, according to the September 2018 housing reports from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal).
New listings that went on the market in September were down 7.1 percent and total active listings were down 24.4 percent compared to the same time last year in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. That translates to 559 new listings and 3,132 active listings. Individually, available housing units were up by 8.7 percent in Worcester County, and were down by 31 percent in Wicomico and by 15 percent in Somerset.
Sales that made it to the settlement table in September were down by 20.3 percent overall compared to the same time last year, with Worcester seeing a 22 percent drop, Wicomico a 19.7 percent drop, and Somerset a five percent drop. Year-to-date settlements were down overall by 5.7 percent. Individually, Somerset was up by 4.6 percent, while Worcester was down by 7.6 percent and Wicomico was down by 5.4 percent.
Listing prices continued to rise last month, reaching a median price of $164,900 in all three counties, which is 10 percent higher than the same time last year. The median sale price, however, was $145,000, which is 6.4 percent lower than the same time last year.
The overall cumulative days on market (CDOM) was 75.25, which is 22 percent lower than the same time last year.
“We’ve been seeing very similar trends each month for the past several months – low inventory, higher prices, less settlements,” said Coastal President Joel Maher. “However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a shift in October’s market, given the recent interest rate increase that could prompt buyers to act now before the rates get even higher.”
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), said in a recent report that rising interest rates are not expected to negatively impact the national real estate market.
“We have two opposing factors affecting the market: the negative impact of rising mortgage rates and the positive impact of continued job creation,” Yun said. “This should lead to future home sales staying fairly neutral. As long as there is job growth, rising mortgage rates will hinder some buyers; but job creation means second or third incomes being added to households, which gives consumers the financial confidence to go out and make a home purchase.”
According to a recent report from the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), total employment increased in Maryland by 4,600 jobs in August of this year. Since January 2015, total employment in Maryland has increased by 107,000 jobs. The state’s unemployment rate has decreased to 4.2 percent.
“Our area is due for a market boost now that interest rates are going up and consumer confidence is at an all-time high,” Maher said. “Increased rates mean more buyers and more buyers should spur more sellers.”
Coastal’s monthly local housing statistics are pulled from the Bright Multiple Listing Service, which represents the activity of over 1,000 local REALTORS® in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties, as well as 85,000 real estate professionals across the Mid-Atlantic. The Bright MLS service area includes Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.
Visit www.coastalrealtors.org for more information.
More about Coastal Association of REALTORS®
The Coastal Association of REALTORS® is fortunate enough to represent over 1,000 real estate professionals in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties. These members are engaged, informed, and active in their communities. They support the American dream of homeownership, as well as the purchase and use of all types of real property. They are local. They are accurate. They are trusted. They are REALTORS® and affiliate members.
For more information on Coastal REALTORS®, visit www.coastalrealtors.org. The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark unique to real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.
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