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Fourth Quarter Home Prices Up 7%

Q4 2017 Housing Statistics for the Salisbury MD Area                  

For the period of October 1 through December 31, 2017, there were 220 settlements on single family housing units in the Salisbury MD area and Salisbury MD Real Estate and Homes for SaleWicomico County, down 10% from this time last year. The median sales price was $165,200, up 7% over the same period. Q4 inventory year over year was down 10%.

Foreclosure and short sale properties accounted for 20% of single family home sales in the fourth quarter of 2017, down from 24% during the same period in 2016. *


Takeaways for Salisbury MD Area Home Buyers

At first glance, the data may seem conflicting to Salisbury MD area home buyers. In reality, sales were down because of fewer listings (inventory). Fewer listings means more competition between buyers, which pushed up home prices in Wicomico County. The increase in home prices of 7% may seem extreme, but home buyers should take into account the small sample size of only three months. An example of this would be the 18% increase in the median sales price seen in December.

For the whole of 2017, the median sales price for a single family home in the Salisbury area will shake out to an increase of around 3%. This would match the results of 2016 and will be discussed in the upcoming Wicomico Residential Year in Review for 2017. Salisbury MD area homebuyers should not only be aware of price appreciation, but also of expected mortgage rate increases of up to .75% by year’s end. Both will obviously affect housing affordability, so now is the best time to buy in the near term once the right home is found.


Takeaways for Salisbury MD Area Home Sellers

Homeowners who hope to be home sellers in the Salisbury MD area have a lot going for them. Buyer demand continues to outpace supply, meaning we remain in a seller’s market, with only a 4 month supply of homes. The increase in home prices obviously means a better equity position while an improving economy has more buyers entering the market before mortgage rates increase.

Many would be sellers are deciding now to list their homes before the spring market in order to “beat the herd”. In our view, this is a good tactic assuming an accurate price and cutting edge marketing are in place.


What Lies Ahead for the Salisbury MD Area Real Estate Market?

While we missed the mark by 40 units in our fourth quarter home sales prediction, we’re going making a bold prediction for an all-time high for first quarter home sales in 2018. Our thinking is many sellers held off putting their homes on the market last fall, which contributed to the flat numbers in the 4th quarter.

Now as the economy improves and further buoyed by the recently passed tax cuts, this will open up new opportunities for homeowners to change jobs, relocate, become move up buyers or even downsizers who are looking at retirement with stock markets at records highs.

In other words, we believe the additional home inventory will be there to meet some of the high demand buyers have placed on the market, resulting in sales velocity not seen in over decade while not in the “bubble” conditions of 2005-2007.

Check back in with us at the beginning of April to see if we our prognostications are accurate!

Information compiled by Esham Real Estate Inc. is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed © 2018 MLS and FBS

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