Lower Eastern Shore, Md. – Another month of low inventory, less settlements, and higher prices has the Lower Eastern Shore aligned with the latest market trends reported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
According to the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal), August 2018 did see a 7.7 percent bump in new listings, but overall active listings were down by 24 percent on the Shore. That translates to 572 new listings and 3,149 active listings for the month of August. Individually, available housing units were down by 27.2 percent in Worcester County, by 23.3 percent in Wicomico County, and by 8.5 percent in Somerset County, compared to the same time last year.
New settlements were down by 7.4 percent overall compared to August of last year, with Worcester seeing a 1.8 percent drop, Wicomico a 12.9 percent drop, and Somerset a 24.2 percent drop. Year to date settlements were down overall by 5.7 percent, with Worcester seeing a 6.7 percent decrease and Wicomico a 5.8 percent decrease. Somerset was up by 4.1 percent.
Limited inventory tends to boost housing prices, and the Lower Eastern Shore was no exception last month. The median list price for the Tri-County area was $171,750, which is 12.3 percent higher than the same time last year. The median sale price was $162,000, which is 4.5 percent higher than the same time last year.
Residential properties are moving off the market a bit faster than they were last year. Overall, cumulative days on market (CDOM) was up 8.3 percent. Individually, CDOM was up by 18.2 percent in Worcester and by 121.2 percent in Somerset, but was down by 41.7 percent in Wicomico.
A recent report released by NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun showed that REALTORS® across the country have stated that limited housing inventory is hindering local market home sales. Inventory levels have fallen for three straight years, and multiple bidding is still prevalent on starter homes in many markets across the country. Some of the nation’s hottest housing markets are said to be slowing, but drops in home sales can be connected directly to supply shortages and corresponding price increases.
“The answer is to encourage builders to increase supply, and there is a good probability for solid home sales growth once the supply issue is addressed,” Yun said. “Additional inventory will also help contain rapid home price growth and open up the market to perspective homebuyers who are consequently – and increasingly – being priced out. In the end, slower price growth is healthier price growth.”
Coastal President Joel Maher said increased home construction would definitely boost the local market.

“New home construction in our area is difficult right now due to high costs, state regulations, and septic issues,” Maher said. “We’re working with local and state legislators, as well as other industry partners to figure out the best way to responsibly meet this demand. We still encourage potential buyers to meet with a REALTOR® to review current market offerings. You never know what will be listed every day, and you could miss out on your dream home if you aren’t proactive.”
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.
MEDIA CONTACT: Sarah Rayne / 410-641-4409 / sarah@coastalrealtors.org