March 22th, 2021


Months of Inventory is Key Driver of Housing Market

Lower Eastern Shore, Md. – What is housing inventory and why does it matter? In short, “months of inventory” is a snapshot of time taken at the end of the month. It is the number of houses that are for sale (active listings) divided by the average number of homes sold in either the last 12 months or last month.

    A healthy real estate market is said to have 8-12 months of inventory available. When inventory goes above 12 months there are more houses than buyers and it becomes a buyers’ market. When inventory drops below 8 months it becomes a seller's market and prices start to go up because homes are harder to buy. There are currently 1.56 months of inventory available in the lower three counties and it continues to drop.

   Because inventory is low, home prices continue to rise. The median home price in February was $256,500, which is up from $255,000 in January and up $31,500 from February of 2020. We currently have only 418 active listings in the lower three counties compared to 1353 in February 2020.

   In all three counties throughout February, new settlements were up 43.6% compared to the same time last year. Individually, new settlements throughout January were up by 29.7% in Wicomico, 45% in Worcester, and 110% in Somerset.

   New listings in January were down 9.7% compared to the same time last year in all three counties. Individually, new listings were down by 11.6% in Worcester, 1.4% in Wicomico, and 28.1% in Somerset from February of 2020.

  Active listings in all three counties were down by 62.7%. Individually, there were 276 active listings in Worcester, 162 in Wicomico, and 66 in Somerset.

   The average Cumulative Days on Market (CDOM) for January was 37, or 53.8% less than the same time last year. Over the last 5 years, the average DOM was 90 for February. “Homes are not sitting on the market,” said CAR President Joni Martin Williamson. “Buyers are competing for homes on the first day they land on the MLS, and sometimes even before they hit the market. In many cases, we are seeing offers above list price and buyers are trying to remove as many contingencies as possible to make their offer the most attractive.”

    “We need new homes and unfortunately that is not something that happens overnight. The lower shore needs to do everything it can to make itself attractive to home builders and businesses and government needs to work with developers to incentivize smart growth. Lack of inventory affects everyone but it hits new home buyers the hardest. Accessing to affordable housing and all levels continues to be a cornerstone of the Coastal Association of REALTORS®,” Said Williamson.

    CAR’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 95,000 real estate professionals across the Mid-Atlantic region. The Bright MLS service area includes Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.


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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 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: Colin Zimmerman / 410-641-4409 /