Table of Contents
- Frederick County Real Estate Market Update
- Real Estate Market Trends in February in Frederick Md
- Detailed Market Statistics for Frederick County
- About the effects of the Corona Virus on the real estate market:
- Frederick is a Bifurcated Real Estate Market
- What’s Notable for Buyers:
- Luxury Homes in Frederick County:
- What’s Notable for Frederick Sellers:
- *Recent Maryland Real Estate Statistics
Frederick County Real Estate Market Update
Provided by Chris Highland ~ February 2020
We’ve been experiencing quite a busy winter for real estate sales here in Frederick County, compared to last year. The spring market has arrived early this year! Sales were already brisk for the holiday season, time on market was down, and prices continued to rise at a healthy pace.
As spring approaches, we’re seeing healthy buying activity, with the best homes going under contract within days of coming on the market, with lots of multiple offers. The inventory of homes on the market is dismal for the demand we’re seeing.
Total sales in February was up 42% over last February!
As a brokerage with agents all over the state, we’re seeing increased activity in many places throughout Maryland, with a low inventory. The overall number of homes on the market has remained low for several months. *See Maryland market statistics below.
Here is a snapshot of Frederick County’s real estate market trends for February 2020, and a projection of what we can look forward to this year.
Real Estate Market Trends in February in Frederick Md
Up, Up and Away!
The Median Home Sales Price: $306,000, up 4% from last February. We’ve seen a larger increase in single-family sales as compared to townhouse sales, but both were up significantly.
- Average Single-Family Sales Price: $384,568, up 2% from last year at this time.
- 179 single-family homes sold, up 48% from last year’s number!!
- Average Attached Home Sales Price: $259,209, up 1% from last year.
- 110 townhouses and condos sold, up 33% from last year’s number.
- A total of 289 homes sold, up 42% from last year!
Increased demand and a low inventory = price acceleration.
676 homes were on the market (the lowest for February in 5 years) inventory was down 22% from last February. Keep in mind that a “normal” inventory is between 1300 and 1400 homes on the market. It is very much a seller’s market. New listings have slowed quite a bit this winter, the inventory is not keeping up with the demand.
Detailed Market Statistics for Frederick County
Average Days on Market (DOM) the time it takes to get a home under contract: 55 days, down 2% from last year at this time (56 days). .. less than the 5 years February average of 62 days. This also is a clear demonstration of demand.
New Listings in February: There were 496 new listings last month, a 14% increase over February 2019, which we’re all grateful to see… but still not enough! There are 768 homes currently under contract total, up 25%. When more homes are selling than are coming on the market, this is a sign of higher demand.
Which brings us back to a homeowner’s favorite formula:
Increased demand and a low inventory = price acceleration.
Number of Homes Under Contract: There were 495 new contracts (homes that went under contract) up 56% from last February. March will be a busier than usual settlement month!
About the effects of the Corona Virus on the real estate market:
Regardless of the current health scare, people still have reasons to sell their homes and to buy a home…new job, need more space, moving out of the area. Life goes on.
If you are in the market right now, the National Association of Realtors® has published articles that give great advice to home buyers and home sellers during this time. Please practice reasonable and common sense precautions:
Buyers touring a home:
- It may go without saying, but if anyone in your family is not feeling well, do not go to see homes.
- Drive your own car to showings.
- As you tour a home, don’t touch things you don’t have to. This means pretty much anything except door handles.
- Wear booties if they are not provided at the home.
- Many health advisory websites encourage wearing gloves. Not surgical gloves, just gloves. Take them off when you get home and wash them. It’s a simple measure that makes a lot of sense.
- Use hand sanitizer after you leave a home.
- Keep a six-foot distance from others, including your Realtor®. We won’t take it personally!
- If a family member is not feeling well, do not have showings.
- Provide hand sanitizer at your entry.
- Even though we’re being encouraged to stay home as much as possible, it is still a good idea to be absent when your home is being shown. This gives buyers the freedom to look and discuss the home with each other and their agent.
- To continue practicing social distancing, simply drive to a nearby park, or pick up something you need from a drive-through. The current weather is even amenable to hanging out in your backyard, or taking a walk through your neighborhood.
- Leave cabinets, doors, or anything you want buyers to see open, so they don’t need to touch the knobs or doors.
- Have all lights on and blinds and curtains open.
- Wipe down all surfaces with a bleach or alcohol cleaner before your home is to be shown. Then again after the showing is over.
- Wipe down door handles…before and after the showing.
- Keep fabric booties at the front door for buyers to wear. This is a good idea any time. Have a box or basket of clean booties, and a box or basket for dirty ones. Then you can simply dispose of the dirty ones.
Reasonable and healthy steps will protect you and your family whether you are a buyer or a seller. **Please consult the CDC Website: Coronavirus Disease 2019 for advice and the latest information.
Total Listings in Frederick Md: 676. The inventory is the lowest number for Frederick County we’ve had in 5 years… especially when you consider that roughly 300 of the listings are new homes or to-be-built. That really means that there are less than 400 resale homes. The best homes (in great condition and priced correctly for the market) are selling in days right now.
Frederick is a Bifurcated Real Estate Market
Sellers got 96.7% of the original list price on average, compared to 97.4% at this time last year. ( the highest for February in 5 years ) Appraisers are saying we’re seeing 3-5% increases in values, depending on price range. Lower price ranges (average $300,000) are appreciating more than the upper price ranges ($600,000+).
Keep in mind:
- In some price ranges, in some areas of Frederick County, there is naturally a higher demand and the market is more competitive for buyers. Some neighborhoods, like Urbana, Middletown, New Market, Mt. Airy, and a few neighborhoods in the city of Frederick, are in high demand and sell much quicker. We are seeing multiple offers on homes that are in great condition and priced to sell.
- Homes in the $300,000 range, are in demand and have seen a 4% – 6% increase in value over the year. Less appreciation, 2% on average, for homes in the highest price ranges. But the good news is that homes above $600,000 have been selling again…in some areas. There is a 12-month absorption rate for homes in the upper price ranges, compared to a 1- to 2-month absorption rate for homes in the lower price ranges.
In any market, but especially in a seller’s market, buyers must be prepared before they find a home. You must be pre-approved by a reputable local lender. Most sellers will not entertain offers from a buyer who has not been pre-approved.
If you have a house to sell, you need to get it on the market first, before you make an offer. Better yet, have your home under contract if you want to win in a multiple offer situation. Some people even find that having their home sold and having a temporary living set up gives them the greatest advantage if they are buying in a highly competitive price range.
What’s Notable for Buyers:
- The majority of homes sold were in the $200,000 to $299,000 range. (higher competition for buyers) The largest number of listings are in the $300,000 to 399,000 price range (higher competition for sellers)
- Interest rates are at historic lows, fueling the market. Although we don’t know the future of interest rates, many lenders look for rates to stay low for the near future. See today’s rates.
- As the economy reacts to the steps taken to “flatten the curve” of the Corona virus, the Fed has lowered the interest rate to zero, and will buy at least $700 billion in government and mortgage-related bonds. This will certainly mean rates will stay low in the next few weeks.
Here’s another formula for you:
Historically low rates = It’s a good time to buy, and it’s a good time to sell and move up!
Luxury Homes in Frederick County:
Believe it or not, where the bargains are…
- The number of luxury buyers in Frederick County is like a sliver, compared to other price ranges. But, they are there, albeit in fewer numbers, looking for their dream home.
- There are 90 homes listed above $600,000, with 13 that sold in February in that price range. (14% of the luxury inventory sold last month, while 43% of the overall inventory sold last month)
- 11 homes listed between $800,000 and 1 million. (0 sold in November)
- 14 homes between 1 and 2.5 million. (1 homes sold)
- There are 2 homes on the market between 2.5 and 5 million. (no homes sold)
- The average time on the market for the luxury homes was 122 days, The average sold price to original list price was 95.1%.
What’s Notable for Frederick Sellers:
- All indications are that the market is healthy and serious buyers are continually entering the market this spring. We believe we’re seeing an early spring market here in Frederick County. This means it is a good time to sell. If you’re ready, you may not want to wait until the typical spring market (April).
The low inventory means less competition for you as a seller.
- We are seeing more multiple offers on the homes that are in great condition and priced to sell…and this will continue to put upward pressure on home prices into the first half of next year.
- Homes that are priced well and in the best condition, and in areas of demand, are sold in weeks or even days. This doesn’t mean that sellers can expect huge increases…they need to remember that the home must still appraise about 90% of the time, as buyers count on financing to purchase.
- Pricing your home too aggressively will cause it to sit on the market longer, and you’ll need to do a price adjustment eventually, often losing important marketing time and losing more money than if it had been priced correctly at the start.
*Recent Maryland Real Estate Statistics
Across Maryland, everything is up, up, up, except for the time on market.
“Recent economic conditions have lowered interest rates causing mortgage refinance applications to spike almost 80 percent – the highest we’ve seen since 2009,” added Harrison. “Unfortunately, this trend hasn’t had the same effect on purchase transactions due to low inventory levels. We anticipate the COVID-19 epidemic to have a significant impact on the spring buying market but it’s difficult to predict its scale.”
February 2020 Market Statistics provided by Bright/MRIS (Mid-Atlantic Regional Information System – A Bright MLS)
These statistics are not guaranteed but are considered accurate.
Contact Chris Highland to see homes for sale in Frederick Md.