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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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