For the third consecutive month, contracts, or pending sales, are up on the Lower Eastern Shore, according to the latest figures from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR).
May 2016 showed an overall 16.8 percent increase in contracts in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties, compared to the same time last year. Individually, contracts for single family home sales increased by 27.5 percent in Worcester County, by 9.1 percent in Wicomico County, and remained steady in Somerset County.
Settlements were down by nine percent in May, compared to the same time last year. Inventory was down by eight percent and listing and sales prices were down by 4 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
Overall, days-on-market increased by 2.5 percent. However, days-on-market for Worcester County’s single family homes and condominiums decreased by 18.6 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively, indicating increased movement of units in the resort area.
Decreased inventory is a trend being reported not only across the state of Maryland, but also across the country. In the Maryland Association of REALTORS® April 2016 housing report, President Bonnie Casper said the state’s spring market has been brisk, but inventory is not keeping up with demand. Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of REALTORS®, has repeatedly reported this year that decreased inventory numbers across the country are driving up prices and squeezing some buyers out of the market.
However, with prices down on Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore, as well as a mortgage rate that has remained below four percent in 16 of the past 17 months, now is the ideal time to buy.
“We don’t know how much longer those mortgage rates will stay low,” said CAR President Linda Moran. “If you’re on the fence about buying, it’s time to jump. Contact a local REALTOR® who can help you find the perfect home that fits in your budget and meets all of your needs and expectations.”
CAR’s monthly local housing statistics are pulled from the association’s Multiple Listing Service, which represents the activity of over 1,000 local REALTORS® in Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties.
Visit www.coastalrealtors.org for more information.