December 2020 Housing Data Show Strong Sales Despite the Seasonal Slowdown as Inventory Shows Further Tightening
by Helene Kelbaugh of eXp Realty
Maryland’s December housing market closed out the year with strong sales that surpassed 2019 statistics, with a 22.8% increase in sales, despite the traditional seasonal slowdown. Average sales prices rose 12.8%, while median sales prices increased 11.2%. Months of inventory dropped even further from November 2020’s 1.2 to 1.0 for December. While new listings are up from 5,126 in 2019 to 6,515 in 2020, it also represents a 43.1% decrease in the number of new listings from October 2020.
“Sales are up, they remain strong, and they are significantly ahead of 2019 numbers,” said Dee Dee Miller, President, Maryland REALTORS®. “This time of year normally represents a seasonal slowdown, but sales and sales prices don’t bear that out. The biggest concern remains available inventory, as months of inventory has dropped further. The market needs more homes for sale.”
A shrinking inventory base remains the primary concern. While months of inventory started falling before the pandemic, the recession that followed did not lead to a distressed sellers’ inventory, as is normally the case following a recession, according to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for Realtor.com. Instead, sales have soared, and base of available homes for sale has tightened.
“While Maryland on average has one month of inventory available, in many areas of the state it’s less than that,” said Miller. “Several counties are even below one month. Carroll County’s December sales were more than 30% higher than last year, but the county only has a little over two weeks inventory remaining. Every county needs additional homes on the market, and this inventory needs to come from sellers, as new home construction will not come soon enough to address this situation. Maryland REALTORS® is committed to finding solutions to the shortage of housing, which has a direct negative impact on affordability and the attainment of the American Dream.”
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