Table of Contents
- Frederick County Real Estate Market Update
- Real Estate Market Trends in January in Frederick Md
- Detailed Market Statistics for Frederick County
- About the effects of the Corona Virus on the real estate market:
- Maryland Law Regarding Real Estate Sales
- 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 ~ January 2021
After a brief and very slight slow down for holidays, real estate sales have surged again this first month of 2021. Sales were up from this time last year, although they reflect the holiday slow-down of fewer listings and fewer showings we usually experience. Time on market was significantly lower than last year…and prices continue to rise at a healthy pace. Early reports from the Maryland Association of Realtors® are showing a 12% increase throughout the year of 2020!
That’s just a glimpse of what is happening in the real estate market. Let’s dig in…
Total volume in sales in January was up 48% over last January.
As a brokerage with agents all over the state, we saw incJaurease sales volume, and low inventory throughout Maryland.. The overall number of homes on the market has remained low for the entire year. *See Maryland market statistics below.
Here is a snapshot of Frederick County’s real estate market trends for January 2021, and a projection of what we can look forward to in spring, although we feel like the spring market is here.
Real Estate Market Trends in January in Frederick Md
Up, Up and … everything’s up…
The Median Home Sales Price: $372,000, up 22% from last January. We’ve seen an increase in both townhouse sales and single-family sales.
- Average Single-Family Sales Price: $474,367, up 20% from last year at this time.
- 203 single-family homes sold, up 15% from last year’s number.
- Average Attached Home Sales Price: $320,000, up 24% from last year.
- 173 townhouses and condos sold, up 44% from last year’s number.
- A total of 376 homes sold, up 27% from last year! 92 of these were new construction homes.
A high demand combined with a very low inventory…slightly more than 260 homes were on the market on an average day in January.
This is the lowest inventory I’ve seen in my 29 years of real estate sales!
The inventory of homes for sale was down 66% from last year. Keep in mind that a “normal” inventory is between 1300 and 1400 homes on the market. It is very much a seller’s market.
**As of today, February 13, there are currently 305 homes listed for sale in Frederick County. The breakdown is 161 existing homes, and 144 new construction homes.
Detailed Market Statistics for Frederick County
Average Days on Market (DOM) the time it takes to get a home under contract: 17 days, 66% shorter than last year at this time . .. much less than the 5 year January average of 47 days.
Tight inventory, homes selling fast!
Title companies and lenders have been doing a stellar job of moving quickly and providing safe alternatives to the usual lending and settlement procedures.
New Listings in January: There were 466 new listings last month, 5% increase over 2020, which is a good thing, buy still not nearly enough to meet the demand.
There are 901 homes under contract, making their way to closing, up 48% over last year. This is an important statistic! It tells us that the Covid-19 effect has not significantly affected the demand of buyers. Perhaps it has affected the number of sellers…
Add to that:
Number of Homes Under Contract: There were 443 new contracts (homes that went under contract) 19% more than last year. These are good signs for a closings in the next two months!
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.
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…they get a new job, they need more space, they’re 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.
- 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.
Maryland Law Regarding Real Estate Sales
Real Estate is considered an essential business in Maryland. But it is still a tricky field to navigate. Our state association, Maryland Realtors®, has developed a set of guidelines, which have been reviewed by the Hogan Administration. These are guidelines and are continually monitored and updated.
Accordingly, real estate licensees will limit personal interactions to the greatest extent possible and will engage in-person only when necessary, and follow these strict protocols:
In-person activities must be by appointment only.
No more than three (3) people, including the agent, may be at a property at any one time.
Those three persons must strictly follow physical distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) by remaining at least six feet apart at all times.
Real estate licensees who strictly follow the above protocols are permitted to engage in the following in-person activities related to the purchase and sale of homes:
Conduct listing presentations, take property photos and create virtual tours for new listings.
Facilitate the signing of contract documents.
Preview and show listings by appointment only.
Facilitate photography/videography, inspections, appraisals, buyer “walk-throughs,” and key delivery.
All other real estate brokerage services will be limited to services we can provide remotely. There are risks associated with leaving the safety of your home and viewing homes for sale, as well as having prospective buyers enter the seller’s home. Buyers and sellers must be attentive to and abide by the mandates and guidelines from public health officials and work with their real estate agents to make informed decisions about listing, selling, and purchasing real property. REALTORS® will exercise their best judgment under the circumstances to provide advice regarding all aspects of the current real estate market.
Updated information about COVID-19 is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the Maryland Department of Health’s COVID-19 Information Portal. If you have specific questions about health concerns related to COVID-19, you should consult with a health professional.
For the latest information and updates, please visit the Maryland REALTORS website.
Frederick is a Bifurcated Real Estate Market
Sellers got 100.6% of the original list price on average, compared to 97% at this time last year. Appraisers are saying we’re seeing 7-12% increases in values, depending on price range. Lower price ranges (average $300,000) are appreciating more than the upper price ranges ($800,000+).
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 7% – 12% increase in value over the year. Less appreciation, 2-4% on average, for homes in the highest price ranges. But the good news is that homes above $800,000 have been selling again…in some areas.
- There is a 2 month absorption rate for homes in the upper price ranges, compared to a 1- month absorption rate for homes in the lower price ranges.
- Homes selling over $800,000 got on average 97.6% of original listing price.
In any market, but especially in a fast-moving 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 $300,000 to $399,000 range. (higher competition for buyers) The largest number of listings are also in the $300,000 to 399,000 price range (higher competition for sellers)
- Mortgage rates have fallen to record lows.
- The Fed has lowered the interest rate to zero, and will buy at least $700 billion in government and mortgage-related bonds (April news). This will certainly mean rates will stay low for a while. It may be a good time to refinance. We saw rates fall below 3% This year. These are historical lows. (I keep saying that! Tat’s because mortgage rates fell to record lows 16 times in 2020.)
As we see home values continue to rise at a healthy pace each year, first time buyers would do well to get in as soon as they can…to take advantage of the increased equity they will receive.
Think of it this way, the elevator is going up… getting on the elevator now will be more advantageous than getting on the elevator next year or any time in the future. Buyers who bought last year have already seen appreciation as betweem 5 and 12 percent, depending on location and price range.
As prices increase, your buying power decreases. Lower Interest rates make up for that by allowing buyers to “buy more” for a lower rate. But eventually, they cannot go any lower.
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 18 homes listed above $800,000, with only 6 that sold in January in that price range. (Roughly 30% of the luxury inventory sold last month, while in the overall inventory, more homes sold last month than came on the market) 😲
- 2 homes sold between $800,000 and 1 million.
- 4 homes sold between 1 and 2.5 million.
- The average time on the market for the luxury homes was 30 days, The average sold price to original list price was 97.6% (similar to recent months) .
What’s Notable for Frederick Sellers:
- All indications are that buyers are not slowing down this winter…with an inventory that is very low, prices are still on the rise. When demand is high and inventory is low…it’s a great time for would-be sellers to jump in.
- Less competition is the hallmark of a seller’s market. The fewer houses that are on the market, the fewer choices for buyers.
- Homes in great condition and priced well for the market are going under contract in days, and fetching top dollar.
*Recent Maryland Real Estate Statistics
January 2021 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. We are here to help you navigate through this currently challenging market.