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July housing market update: St. Mary’s County

Lexington Park, MD - An analysis of the most readily available year-over-year housing market statistics for July in St. Mary’s County have raised some red flags. While the housing market is doing undeniably well right now, it could be just a little bit too hot, sending economic signals that are difficult to decipher.

Factors that would generally be used to easily determine the economic stability and vague housing market conditions, are registering year-over-year changes in the county that are significant to say the least. Factors such as new listings, the number of units sold, and even the total dollar amount sold help to paint the abstract picture of the current county market.

Looking first at arguably the most unusual statistical piece of information from the most recently collected June data, the decline in new listings. Over the spring and summer months, it is no surprise that many people try to move around. During what is usually considered one of the hottest real estate months of the year, St. Mary’s County saw a slight decline of new listings, dropping 1.16 percent when compared to the same time last year. While this decline is slight, it should be considered very unusual to see a decline in new listings of any kind at this time of year.

While there are some national trends of a timeline shift, where real estate patterns stay the same but shift ahead or behind year-over-year, seeing new inventory slowing down at this point of the summer is still weird. Additionally, active inventory for the month has seen a 12.01 percent decline when compared to this time last year. This follows the trend nationally of decreased amounts of inventory, but less inventory all year round has helped to prosper the trend of giving sellers the bargaining power.

The two other stats that come off as odd are the extremely high number of units that sold compared to last year, and the incredible increase of total sold dollar volume that accompanied it. With 53 more units being sold over June of this year when compared to last year, up to 175 units from 122 last year, the resulting 43.44 percent increase is shocking to say the least. Corresponding directly with the sold units, sold dollar volume went up 39.44 percent, adding an additional $14,541,242 in transaction volume in June. While that transaction volume went through the roof with additional sales, the average sold price from June when compared to last year actually saw a modest drop of 2.79 percent.

Although there are a number of stats that are out of the ordinary this go around, St. Mary’s County does show some signs of stability as the market will be expected to cool down soon.

The average days on market is down from 81 days in 2018 to 65 days in 2019, a steep 19.75 percent drop. The majority of homes that sold throughout the month had been listed for between 31 to 60 days, however not far off from that stat were homes that had only been on the market for less than 10 days, reinforcing a real estate agent’s mantra of “the good ones don’t last long.”

Lastly and possibly the best news for soon-to-be-sellers, if all of this information wasn't positive enough, is that the average sale price to original list price ratio increased this month. While the increase was only a slight .97 percent, it is extremely difficult to bring this number up unless it is certain to be a seller’s market. The ratio went up from 97.5 percent last year to 98.5 percent now, meaning that homes on average sold for 98.5 percent of what the average home was originally listed for.

The bottom line now would be that national trends of declining inventory, paired with increased home sales, has created a definite seller’s market while raising new questions about the economic stability of the county’s housing market. One might imagine that it is only a matter of time until some economic turmoil occurs, potentially as a result of the upcoming presidential election. Stay tuned for more local housing market breakdowns.

All statistics for this article were obtained via the Bright Multiple Listing Service.

Contact Zach at zach.hill@thebaynet.com .

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