Local real estate kicks off autumn with increased contracts


Local listings continue to decline, but the Lower Eastern Shore’s available inventory is selling, according to the latest figures from the Coastal Association of Realtors.

September 2016 showed an overall 5.9 percent increase in new contracts, or pending sales, in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties, compared to the same time last year. Wicomico County saw the most activity with a 32.9 percent increase in single family home contracts and a 33.3 percent increase in condominium contracts.

Local figures also showed an overall 14 percent spike in new settlements in the Tri-County area, compared to the same time last year. Settlement activity was particularly notable in Worcester County, which saw a 23.4 percent increase in single family home settlements and a 13.2 percent increase in condominium settlements.

For the sixth month in a row, inventory numbers declined. Overall, the decrease was 23 percent in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Individually, single family home listings were down by 27.1 percent in Worcester County, by 19.1 percent in Wicomico County, and by 14.3 percent in Somerset County. The sole inventory increase in September was a 12.5 percent hike among condominiums in Wicomico County.

Days on market are largely up in all three counties, with an overall 13.3 increase since August 2016. List and sales prices are both down, by 12.4 percent and by 11.6 percent, respectively.

“As expected, we’re seeing a busy start to the fall season,” said CAR President Don Bailey. “However that trend can only last as long as our inventory lasts, which continues to decline every month.”

The Maryland Association of Realtors reported similar trends in their statewide data, showing an overall 6.3 percent rise in home sales in September, as well as a 1.5 percent increase in pending sales and a 15 percent decrease in inventory.

“We are hoping the trend of robust sales continues throughout the fourth quarter of 2016,” said MAR President Shelly Murray. “Based on the number of pending units, we expect that October will also report strong sales. We anticipate a vibrant, autumn residential market.”

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.

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