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Howard County Home Supply Shrinking, Prices Steady

While we still have a 30% larger supply of homes for sale than we did last year, prices remain steady in Howard County.  The median sale price of a Howard County home last month was $370,000, down 1.3% from last year at this time.

Howard County Stats – September 2014
Howard County Home Sales Statistics - September 2014

Days on market continues to climb, with the average days a property spends on the market currently at 36, up 38.5% from last September.  That said, we’re seeing strong sales volume, with 287 sales last month, compared to 273 a year ago August – an increase of 5.1%.

Howard County’s pending home sales remain steady, with 593 homes under contract.  This bodes for a steady October in sales.

One important item to note is that, as of this writing, interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in over a year, with the flagship 30-year mortgage dipping into the 3.75% to 4% range.  If you haven’t thought of buying or refinancing, we urge you to talk to us or your mortgage lender.

As always, the numbers that matter most are yours.   Drop us a line for a complimentary market analysis of your home or neighborhood.  We’re happy to help!

Laura Kittleman is a partner at The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors, working primarily in Howard County and Montgomery County, Maryland.  She can be reached at 301-785-5889 or laurak@kittlemangroup.com.

Tom Yeatts is a partner and Associate Broker with The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors.  He can be reached at 443.364.8867 or tom@kittlemangroup.com.

 

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Montgomery County Home Inventory Receding, Prices Nudge Upward

Montgomery County’s inventory of homes for sale is still well above last year’s, but has receded a bit from last month.  In August, inventory was up over 43% from the prior August, while September’s numbers show a “mere” 36% increase.   Prices ticked up slightly, with the median sale price of a home in Montgomery County for September, 2014 coming in at $390,000, up 2.9% from this time last year.

Montgomery County Stats – September 2014
Montgomery County Home Sales Statistics - September 2014

One important item to note is that, as of this writing, interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in over a year, with the flagship 30-year mortgage dipping into the 3.75% to 4% range.  If you haven’t thought of buying or refinancing, we urge you to talk to us or your mortgage lender.

As always, the numbers that matter most are yours.   Drop us a line for a complimentary market analysis of your home or neighborhood.  We’re happy to help!

Laura Kittleman is a partner at The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors, working primarily in Howard County and Montgomery County, Maryland.  She can be reached at 301-785-5889 or laurak@kittlemangroup.com.

Tom Yeatts is a partner and Associate Broker with The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors.  He can be reached at 443.364.8867 or tom@kittlemangroup.com.

 

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Howard County Real Estate Bounces Back Despite Increased Supply

Defying the basic tenets of economics seems to be the norm for the Howard County housing market.  Even in the face of a dramatically increased supply of homes for sale (up over 37% from last year at this time), prices remain firm in Howard County for August.

The median sale price of a Howard County home last month was $400,000 down a paltry $100 from last year at this time.

Howard County Stats – August 2014
Howard County Home Sales Statistics - August 2014

Days on market are up a bit, from 41 last August to 47 this August, an increase of nearly 15%.  That said, we’re seeing solid sales volume, with 328 sales last month compared to 316 a year ago August.

And unlike our neighbor to the south, Montgomery County, our pending sales are on par with last year at this time, boding well for September’s numbers, as well.  Montgomery’s pendings are down about 9%, while Howard is actually up 0.16%.

All in all, a solid month for Howard County.  We continue to watch interest rates, for an increase in rates will undoubtedly put downward pressure on area home prices.

As always, the numbers that matter most are yours.   Drop us a line for a complimentary market analysis of your home or neighborhood.  We’re happy to help!

 

Laura Kittleman is a partner at The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors, working primarily in Howard County and Montgomery County, Maryland.  She can be reached at 301-785-5889 or laurak@kittlemangroup.com.

Tom Yeatts is a partner and Associate Broker with The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors.  He can be reached at 443.364.8867 or tom@kittlemangroup.com.

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Montgomery County Prices Calm amidst Rising Inventory

This seems to be the story in our region lately, and it’s no different for Montgomery County.  Even as the available inventory of homes for sale increases (at 3,109 active listings, it’s up over 43% from last August), prices remain staunch.  The median sale price of a home in Montgomery County for August, 2014 was $414,900, down a mere 0.62% from last August.

Sales continue to lag 2013, however.  With 1,027 homes sold in the county in August, we are 7.3% below last August’s sales of 1,108.

Montgomery County Stats – August 2014

Montgomery County Home Sales Statistics - August 2014

Looking at pending sales, we expect this to be a recurring theme next month.  Pending home sales are off nearly 9% from last year, foretelling a September with lower numbers than a year ago.

We firmly believe interest rates are critically important to maintaining home values in the region.  While steady, rates have been expected to rise by year’s end.  For now, we’re doing quite well at adapting to a larger housing supply while maintaining home values.

As always, the numbers that matter most are yours.   Drop us a line for a complimentary market analysis of your home or neighborhood.  We’re happy to help!

Laura Kittleman is a partner at The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors, working primarily in Howard County and Montgomery County, Maryland.  She can be reached at 301-785-5889 or laurak@kittlemangroup.com.

Tom Yeatts is a partner and Associate Broker with The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors.  He can be reached at 443.364.8867 or tom@kittlemangroup.com.

 

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Lisa and Laura Kittleman Interviewed in “Her Mind” Magazine

Laura Kittleman Lisa Kittleman Her Mind 2014

Lisa and Laura Kittleman Interview in Her Mind Magazine

Our very own real estate agents, Lisa and Laura Kittleman, were recently interviewed in one of Howard County’s premier magazines, Her Mind.

They discuss how buyers buy on emotion, what today’s Millennial buyers are looking for, and how we become friends with our clients.

Check it out!

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Mortgage Debt Down, Other Types of Debt Up, Fed Study Finds

Debt Management is ImportantAn article by Michael Neal published on the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) website, reveals that overall consumer debt fell in the second quarter of this year, but only due to decreased mortgage and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) balances.  Other forms of consumer debt, including auto loans, student loans, and other credit card debt increased.  The decreased mortgage-backed debt, however, was enough to reduce the average American’s overall indebtedness.

It’s important to keep in mind that your current debt level, in addition to your income and credit score, are key determiners of your ability to qualify for a mortgage.

Read the full story here:
http://eyeonhousing.org/2014/08/consumer-held-housing-debt-shrinks-in-the-second-quarter/

(This report is based on Federal Reserve Bank of New York data.)

 

 

 

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Howard County Home Sales – Volume Down, Pending Sales Up

Howard County is facing a glut of active listings. There are currently 1,321 homes on the market, up nearly 44% from last year. Combined with the decrease in homes sold – 355 last month, compared to 396 last July, a drop of over 10% – and it’s even more impressive that prices are remaining steady.

While home prices are steady, people have been asking more for their homes and not getting it. The average sale price to original list price ratio has fallen to 96.5% from 98.7% last year, a drop of 2.2%. Given the increased inventory and aggressive negotiation from buyers, it’s more important than ever that you engage the services of a top agent to position and negotiate strongly in this market.

Howard County Stats – July 2014
Howard County Maryland Real Estate Sales - July 2014

We do have a ray of light for next month’s numbers – pending home sales are up 11.7% to 382 for Howard County. This bodes well for sales in the next 30-60 days, but won’t make much of a dent in the inventory still sitting on the market. Assuming interest rates hold steady, we should continue to see prices remain firm even in the face of decreased demand.

As always, the numbers that matter most are yours. Drop us a line for a complimentary market analysis of your home or neighborhood. We’re happy to help!

Laura Kittleman is a partner at The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors, working primarily in Howard County and Montgomery County, Maryland. She can be reached at 301-785-5889 or laurak@kittlemangroup.com.

Tom Yeatts is a partner and Associate Broker with The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors. He can be reached at 443.364.8867 or tom@kittlemangroup.com.

 

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Montgomery County Days on Market Up, Sales Down

Montgomery County’s residential home sales are starting to show some signs of strain. Days on market have been creeping up, currently sitting at an average of 39 days, up from 35. While homes still sell in Montgomery County relatively quickly, it’s a sign of a slower market than last year’s.

Montgomery County has significantly fewer home sales than last year, with 1,059 sales last month compared to 1,280 in July of 2013, a 17.3% decrease. Prices continue to remain flat.  This month’s median sale price is $429,000, down 1.5% from this time last year.

Montgomery County Stats – July 2014
Montgomery County Maryland Real Estate Sales - July 2014

Homes on the market remain elevated, with 3,071 active listings in July, up 36.7% over last year. This is pretty much the story of 2014 – more homes on the market, fewer sales, but prices on pace with last year’s. We are encouraged by the firmness of prices, but wonder how long it can last. If interest rates head up, we believe prices will face significant downward pressure, so our eyes are on the mortgage markets.

As always, the numbers that matter most are yours. Drop us a line for a complimentary market analysis of your home or neighborhood. We’re happy to help!

Laura Kittleman is a partner at The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors, working primarily in Howard County and Montgomery County, Maryland. She can be reached at 301-785-5889 or laurak@kittlemangroup.com.

Tom Yeatts is a partner and Associate Broker with The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors. He can be reached at 443.364.8867 or tom@kittlemangroup.com.

 

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Last Minute Showing? Quick…do these things!

Sometimes you may be faced with a showing and very little notice, but you’ll still need your home to look its best.  To maximize your limited time, focus on the things potential buyers will notice first:

  • Sweep the front porch and steps, and pick up any out-of-place items from the yard or porch
  • Put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, or wash them quickly
  • Throw dirty laundry in the washing machine
  • Open the curtains or blinds and turn all the lights on
  • Wipe counters and tables clean
  • Quickly vacuum – hit the high traffic spots first and go back for the other places, time permitting
  • Make the beds
  • Light a pleasant candle to create an inviting aroma

Then hit the road, knowing your home will shine for your visitors!

Looking for more tips for making your home sparkle, drop us a line and we’ll send you a detailed list to help you prepare your home for sale!

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Howard County Home Sales – Sideways, with Troubling Trends

June’s home sales data for Howard County give us reason for concern.  While the year began slowly, primarily due to the harsh winter we experienced in early 2014, the spring and early summer months have failed to provide the activity we’d expect to see in a recovery.  On top of that, several bellwether numbers are showing signs of future weakness.

Compared to last June, the number of homes sold is down 12.3% to 392, and the median price is off 4.5%, dropping to $400,584.  What is truly interesting is that the average days on market actually decreased by 4 days, to 45.  Fewer homes are selling, and at flat to slightly lower prices, but the homes are selling more quickly.

Howard County Stats – June 2014
Howard County Maryland Market Stats June 2014

We have four chief reasons to be concerned about the future of the Howard County real estate market.

  1. Detached home sales are down 18% from last year, meaning the higher end of the market is weak.  This could have a trickle-down effect into the first time buyer market if people are not moving up.
  2. Active listings are up over 53% from this time last year.  When supply rises, absent a similar increase in demand, this puts a downward pressure on prices.
  3. Pending home sales are down nearly 10% from last year, meaning fewer actual sales in the next one to two months.
  4. Foreclosure starts are up 28% in Maryland.  While Howard County has traditionally seen fewer foreclosures than neighboring counties, when these homes hit the market, they tend to sell on the lower end of an area’s price range.

On the plus side, Howard County has the lowest unemployment rate of any county in Maryland, at 4.2%.  With a wide variety of jobs in the area, including federal and state employers, we have a good amount of economic insulation that should keep the economy steady in the county.

As always, the numbers that matter most are yours.   Drop us a line for a complimentary market analysis of your home or neighborhood.  We’re happy to help!

Laura Kittleman is a partner at The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors, working primarily in Howard County and Montgomery County, Maryland.  She can be reached at 301-785-5889 or laurak@kittlemangroup.com.

Tom Yeatts is a partner and Associate Broker with The Kittleman Group of Keller Williams Select Realtors.  He can be reached at 443.364.8867 or tom@kittlemangroup.com.

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