Housing market shows good inventory growth

January’s frigid temperatures did not slow local inventory growth, according to the latest numbers from the Coastal Association of Realtors.

New listings that went on the market in January 2019 were up 15 percent compared to the same time last year in all three counties. That translates to 524 new listings. Individually, new available units were up by 22 percent in Worcester, by 8 percent in Wicomico, and by 3.2 percent in Somerset.

However, active inventory is still lower than it was a year ago. In all three counties, there was a total of 2,886 active listings, which is 21.7 percent lower than it was in January 2018. Active listings were down by 17.5 percent in Worcester, by 30.3 percent in Wicomico, and by 13.3 percent in Somerset.

New residential settlements in January were down by 29.8 percent overall compared to the same time last year in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Individually, settlements were down by 25.7 percent in Worcester, by 33.3 percent in Wicomico, and by 38.5 percent in Somerset.

Year-to-date settlements across the Tri-County area totaled 4,443, which is 4 percent lower than the same time last year.

List prices continued to rise last month, reaching an average price of $241,064 in all three counties, which is 9 percent higher than the same time last year. The average sale price, however, was $199,294, which is 0.3 percent lower than the same time last year.

“It’s encouraging to see activity pick up compared to the previous month, but our numbers still aren’t measuring up to last year’s market,” said Coastal President Bernie Flax. “Hopefully the increased new inventory will draw out some buyers. These cold winter months are generally the best time to see a structure’s resiliency.”

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.

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