Lauren Bunting

(Dec. 27, 2019) With many economists predicting a recession in 2019, we are entering the final days of this year and this decade in a good economy and a steady real estate market.

Also, the Federal Reserve has reduced short-term rates three times over the course of the year, and while that can be a cause for concern on a larger economic scale, it has helped residential real estate by bringing interest rates down.

With annual figures reported through November to Maryland Realtors, Maryland home sales in 2019 are tracking 4.2 percent below 2018 figures.

This is an improvement year over year though from 2018 to 2017, where data showed homes sales were down at a higher rate of 10.8 percent.

However, Worcester County is faring better than the state as a whole, as the county is only down 2.6 percent year over year through November 2019.

Also, more Americans are showing greater confidence in home buying, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index results.

The survey results for the month of November showed that 61 percent of Americans say now is a good time to buy (up from 57 percent in October) and the highest level since March 2018.

Meanwhile, 29 percent of Americans said now is a bad time to buy, which is down from 36 percent.

Consistent with scarce housing inventory and a decent economy, average and median home sales prices have consistently been in the positive throughout the year.

In fact, the month of November showed a 4.5 percent increase in average sales price throughout the state with 2019 sales price average sitting at $353,935.

And, in Worcester County, the month of November showed an even more impressive increase of 18.4 percent with a 2019 sales price average of $336,456.

By comparison and more representative, Worcester County’s sales prices average sales price to date in 2019 is $294,473.

To date in 2019, the luxury market posted 15 sales over the $1 million mark. Usually the majority of these homes are in the town limits of Ocean City, but this year the majority of the luxury market sales were throughout Ocean Pines, South Point and West Ocean City.

However, once again, the highest priced sale was for a bayside waterfront home in Sunset Island at $2,295,000.

— Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

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