2016 Year in Review

Salisbury MD Area Home Sales in 2016

There were 1101 settlements on residential housing units in the Salisbury MD area and Wicomico County in 2016, an increase of 9% from 2015.Salisbury MD Real Estate and Homes for Sale

The median sales price was $150,000, up 4% over the same period along with a 20% decrease in inventory. The average time on market for properties sold in the Salisbury MD area last year was 3.8 months.

Foreclosed and short sale properties accounted for 25% of residential sales in 2016, down from 31% in 2015. *

Salisbury MD Area Home Buyers in 2017

Today’s home buyer in the Salisbury MD area has several things going in their favor. The local economy and employment forecast is improving. In spite of recent increases, mortgage rates remain well below historical levels. Median home prices have increased within historical norms and close to the median price seen in 2004.

The flipside is inventory is down significantly, leaving buyers with fewer choices of homes. Multiple offers are common, compromising the buyer’s negotiating position. Current trends suggest increases in home prices and mortgage rates are coming in 2017, pushing some Salisbury MD area home buyers out of the market altogether.

 

Salisbury MD Area Home Sellers in 2017

Many Wicomico County home owners are just now realizing they have more options for their property than they did even a year ago. Lack of inventory may convince hesitant would-be sellers that the sale of their home will happen faster than previously expected. Favorable mortgage rates and improving consumer sentiment should keep the activity level of home buyers in the Salisbury MD area predictable and sustainable, at least for the short term.

Too, sales of distressed properties as a percentage of the total market is down significantly and thereby impacting fewer appraisals. Last year’s price gains have a substantial number home sellers in the best equity position they’ve seen in a decade.

 

What Can the Salisbury MD Housing Market Expect in 2017?

Many of last January’s predictions for 2016 in the Wicomico County real estate market came to fruition. Whether it was overall sales (Prediction-1100 units closed), price appreciation, (Prediction- up 1-3%) or interest rate fluctuations (Prediction-down early through mid-year and then up at year’s end), it was interesting to see things play out how they did.

For 2017, the picture is quite a bit cloudier. The global economy is anything but strong. Domestically, the dollar faces significant headwinds after recent volatility. The incoming Trump administration promises to upend the status quo, with the GOP running both the House and Senate for the first time in 12 years. Great Britain’s exit from the EU leaves much uncertainty in Europe. OPEC has cut oil production which in turn has pushed up prices. The situations in Syria and Turkey could easily end up in regional conflicts.

The Salisbury MD area real estate market has clearly changed in the last 12 months, in many ways for the better. That said, we’re cautiously optimistic heading into 2017 and expect a 7-8% increase in residential sales along with a 3-5% increase in the median home sales price.

Mortgage rates on a 30 year fixed conventional loan (currently around 4.25%) could be in the mid 4% range by summer and pushing 5% by the end of the year. Economic and foreign policy  out of Washington could certainly impact the Wicomico County housing market in a dramatic fashion, so there’s our caveat.

We welcome reader’s comments so fire away. Check in with us near term as we gear up for the spring home selling season in the Salisbury Maryland area. We wish you each a happy,  healthy and prosperous 2017!

*Based on information from the Coastal Association of Realtors® for the period 1/1/16 through 12/31/16

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