Lower Eastern Shore, Md. – As winter sets in across the Lower Shore, the local housing market is experiencing its annual dip in activity, according to the latest numbers from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal).
New residential settlements in November 2018 were down by 2.2 percent overall compared to the same time last year in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. Individually, settlements were up by eight percent in Worcester and were down by 9.2 percent in Wicomico and by 44.4 percent in Somerset. Year-to-date settlements across the Tri-County area totaled 4,156 as of the end of November, which is about 2.1 percent lower than the same time last year.
New listings that went on the market in November were down 7.9 percent and total active listings were down by 17.6 percent compared to the same time last year in all three counties. That translates to 441 new listings and 3,273 active listings. Individually, available units were down by 14.2 percent in Worcester County, by 25.2 percent in Wicomico County, and by 9.1 percent in Somerset County.
List prices continued to rise last month, reaching an average price of $272,084 in all three counties, which is 14 percent higher than the same time last year. The average sale price was $207,258, which is 14.8 percent higher than the same time last year.
“We generally see a market slowdown during this time of year, as buyers and sellers focus their attention on their families and the holidays,” said Coastal President Bernie Flax. “However, we are also feeling the side effects of continued mortgage rate increases, which are impacting real estate across the country.”
According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the recent rise in mortgage rates have reduced the pool of eligible buyers. However, Yun added that while the short-term out look is uncertain, he is very optimistic about the long-term outlook. The current home sales level matches sales in 2000.
“However, mortgage rates are much lower today compared to earlier this century, when mortgage rates averaged eight percent,” Yun said. “So, while the long-term prospects look solid, we just have to get through this short-term period of uncertainty.”
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.
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