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Harford County Real Estate, Summer of 2017

No need to speculate about what the real estate market in Harford County has done this past Summer; I have the data to show you, along with some insight into what it all means. I can admit that while I usually try to get this info out monthly, I’ve been too busy the past three months to do the research. Despite that, you’ll be surprised at the evidence to the contrary.

If you’ve been home-shopping the past few months, you probably ran into a competitive bidding situation, encountering the dreaded “request for highest and best.” This is where the seller receives multiple offers (good for them) and asks all bidders to provide their strongest offer, usually associated with a strict deadline. And it’s getting out of hand; agents and sellers are sitting on offers until they get more than one just so they can force the bloodshed!    

         

But the data suggests that this will not last, at least not in Harford County. There were 26 fewer homes sold in the County in 2017 compared to 2016, which was a drop of about 2.2%. The median sold price went up, though, since sellers were asking a little more for their homes this year. Last year’s median sale price was $252,100, compared to $254,000 this past summer. The big story has been about active listings, which has reduced across the country. Last summer, there was an average of 1,275 homes on the market, compared to 1,010 this year. That’s a dip of 19%, or 1 out of 5 homes. To put this into context, imagine you were out shopping for a house and of the 5 from which you were about to choose, one was taken away. And add to that the fact that 5 other people are also shopping! There really aren’t enough to go around.

In addition to the fact that fewer homes sold this summer compared to last, there are also fewer homes under contract. This suggests that fewer homes will go to closing over the next two months, further continuing the cycle. But hold on before you cry recession! This is a natural correction since so few homes are on the market.  We expect that since there is certainly an inventory shortage in Harford County, those of you that have homes to sell will be ready to list soon.

So, what do I expect from next summer in Harford County? I expect humidity, mosquitoes and traffic jams along route 22! Oh, as far as the real estate market, I expect more inventory to hit the market, but not enough to compensate for the 20% deficiency. I also expect more sales from 1st time buyers as they snatch up the homes from families that choose to move up or even build.

If you would like more information to help you decide whether it’s a good time to buy or sell, feel free to call me at (443) 866-6728 or email scott@highpowerrealty.com

Harford Route 40 Corridor Real Estate Smackdown!
By Scott
March 21, 2017

Have you wondered lately about how the real estate market in your area is doing? How about how it compares to some of the neighboring zip codes? We decided to check that by comparing what some would consider the most similar markets within Harford County, based mostly on their positioning along the route 40 corridor, quality of school systems (based on ratings, not my opinion!) and general amenities. Also, please note that this only represents the market for these respective locations for February of 2017, and that we do compare it to how well it did during the same time last year. The locations included in this smackdown are Aberdeen, Edgewood, Joppa and Havre de Grace.

There has been a lot of concern about the Aberdeen, MD real estate market lately, but I do think its temporary. The market did perform poorly in February, with only 16 homes changing owners, which is an 11.1% drop from last year. The total sales volume was modest at $2.7 million, and it took 95 days on average to sell a home. The absorption rate, which is a metric that indicates how long it would take to clear the existing inventory, is 5.3 months (a very healthy market is considered 4 months or less).

Havre de Grace, MD real estate seems to have suffered the same fate. Only 14 homes got new owners, which was a 36% drop from last year. Despite that, the dollar volume was the strongest in our competition, finishing at $4.25 million. The most glaring issue was that it took 156 days for a home to sell, and that there are still 104 active listings; this brings the absorption rate to a concerning 7.5 months.

The Edgewood market has been on a roll with 24 sales in February, an increase of 20% over last year. The total dollar volume was lower than Havre de Grace at $3.17 million, which was due to the lackluster average sales price of $132,000. Despite the lower prices, the absorption is down to 2.375 months, meaning that the market is moving at a faster clip than most.

Finally, we’ll take a look at the town at the southern end of the county. Joppa is a bit different than most; the homeownership rate is always high at over 80% (the average is around 65%), and people tend to stay in one place longer. However, the number of sales jumped from 10 in February of 2016 to 18 in the same month of 2017, an 80% spike! The total dollar volume was just behind Havre de Grace’s at $3.97 million, and the average sales price was the highest at $220,614. It did take a while to sell a home in Joppa, with the average days on market at 124, but the absorption was just under 4 months, showing the signs of an attractive home selling opportunity.

 

Stat Description Aberdeen Havre de Grace Edgewood Joppa
February 2017 Unit Sales 16 14 24 18
Increase (decrease) -11.10% -36.36% 20.00% 80.00%
Total Dollar Volume (in mil) $2.70 $4.25 $3.17 $3.97
Avg Sales Price $168,406 $193,209 $132,074 $220,614
Days on Market 95 156 80 124
# Active Listings 85 104 57 69
# Under Contract 55 47 52 45
Absorption Rate 5.3125 7.428571429 2.375 3.833333333

 

So who wins the smackdown? Well, the sluggishness in Havre de Grace and Aberdeen immediately rule them out, so then it’s a duel between Edgewood and Joppa, and even though Edgewood has a much lower absorption rate, the combination of average sales price and absorption in Joppa is too much to overcome, so that will have to be our winner!

Have you been thinking of selling? If you have a home along the route 40 corridor (or anywhere in Maryland, for that matter), I’m giving you the opportunity to get an exclusive home pricing analysis by going to www.route40realestate.com. Enter your information along with details about your home and sit back and wait for your home value to come your way. When you need more detailed information, don’t hesitate to contact me at either (443) 866-6728 or by emailing scott@highpowerrealty.com

Harford County Real Estate 2016 Year in Review
By Scott
January 17, 2017

If you own a home in Harford County, MD, it’s likely that you’ve been wondering about home prices in general, and where the value of your property may be at a given moment. Having an idea of whether they’re going up or down can have some importance to you, depending on when you bought your home, but for the most part, you want to make out rather than lose if you decide to sell.

There is good news for you then! Harford County real estate made some positive gains in 2016, increases that Realtors® have been looking for every year for at least four years now. It has taken a while for the market to adjust to some of the corrections in the economy, but now the numbers reflect a significant increase on a year over year basis.

The total dollar amount of home sales in Harford County, MD jumped 13.21% in 2016 to over $1 billion in transaction volume! This represents an increase of over $100 million from the year prior, which has had a substantial impact on the local economy. The average sales price per home went up—however modestly—by 1.61% to $264,767, and the number of home sales went up to a whopping 3,834 for the County in 2016. Also noteworthy was how long it took to sell a home, which went down over 15% to just 78 days.

 

A few factors have contributed to the increases that we saw, as well as the lackluster home sales price growth that occurred. The overall economy has made fiercer strides recently, especially at the local level. The unemployment rate dipped to 5.3% in Maryland in 2016, down from 5.6% in 2015 and even further from the 6.1% rate we experienced in 2014. The more people working means more people looking for housing. And while home prices only went up slightly, we can expect this to change in 2017 for a few reasons: 1) Housing inventory has dropped considerably while demand has held constant. This will lead to upward pressure on prices, 2) Price increases generally follow volume and unit sales increases and 3) The Federal Reserve has started to raise rates, which is a defense against inflation. In other words, they’re trying to temper the inevitable price level increases.

 

There is opportunity for everyone in this market, but you should have the right guidance and information. We have only touched on the basics here of what the market is doing, but there are nuances for each situation. If you’d like more information about buying, contact me at (443) 866-6728 or email me at scott@highpowerrealty.com. You can also visit our website at www.highpowerrealty.com.

 

Harford County Real Estate November 2016

People in Harford County have been enjoying a thriving real estate market recently! In November 2016, things continued their upward swing, with one little outlier statistic that we still haven’t figured out, although we have some theories. Also, the high sale was one of the largest recorded residential deals in Harford County in many years.

The number of sales in November was up 15.1% over the same month in 2015, and it took almost 10% fewer days for a deal to close than last year. So instead of it taking 91 days to sell the average home last November, it only took 82 days this year. The downside is that the active listings continue to drop, dipping 17.55% from the 11th month of 2015. That means if you’re in the market to buy, you’ll have less to choose from and more competition.

The highest-priced sale took place in Fallston and was brokered by Krauss Real Property Brokerage. The home’s address is 2501 Pocock Rd, and it sold for $4.6 million! The home’s structure is over 12,000 square feet, and it sits on an astonishing 247 acres! A picture of the front of the estate is below.

If you’d like more information on the market, please feel free to comment or give us a call at (443) 866-6728, email scott@highpowerrealty.com or visit www.route40realestate.com for a home valuation. 

Harford County Real Estate, August, 2016

The housing market recovery we’ve been experiencing has made its way into Harford County, MD. During the most recent month for which we have data (August, 2016), sales in the area jumped 20% from the same month a year ago, and the total dollar volume for housing transfers topped $107 million!

The largest sale during the month was in Bel Air at 1602 Willowdale drive (above) which sold for $790,000, although the average sales price for a sale in the county in August was $268,000. The average time it took to sell a property was a little over two months, and the number of active listings dropped from 1,489 in August of 2016 to 1,224 the same month this year. That’s a drop of 18%! As you can see from the chart, the lower inventory has pushed sales prices upward consistently over the past three years.

“Ok Scott,” you’re probably thinking, “what the hell does this mean to me?” Well, if you’re a potential home buyer, you are going to face stiff competition in the hunt for the home of your dreams. You will, however, benefit from the super-low interest rates (more on this and how it can impact your monthly payment in the coming week). For now, the way the math works, lower rates will more than offset the higher sales prices. On the other end, if you’re a seller, you’re in the driver’s seat! People that are putting their home on the market now are benefiting from the lack of housing availability, and are able to sell their homes quickly and for more money.

I’ve only touched the surface of how these figures can impact you as a buyer or seller. There are a ton of details to navigate, and every transaction has its own nuances. That’s why I’m here to help if you need any real estate advice. If you’re thinking of buying, selling, or even renting, feel free to call me at (443) 866-6728 or email at scott@highpowerrealty.com. As always, thanks for your time.