Q3 2021: Housing Market Round Up

Oh hey friend, you’re new here and didn’t read my Q2 round up with more information than you’ll ever need? HERE IT IS Or maybe you want to wander down memory lane and see how I really spilled the tea back in Q1? HERE IT IS.

DISCLAIMER: mentally insert (IMO, ‘in my opinion’) at the end of each paragraph because these are MY interpretations of the data. My experience is going to vary from other agents because other agents are not working the same day-to-day that I am, not seeing the same houses or helping the same buyer/seller pool. Grain of salt! If something needs elaboration, reach out to me directly, I’d love to open up a dialogue.

The burning question: what in the world is going on with Maryland Real Estate right now?

‘Predictably Unpredictable’. That is how I would describe my business experience in July-Sept. Inventory has leveled out more than in Q2; still not entirely repaired, but the projection is upward.

We grew accustomed to the whole ‘list on Thursday, highest and best due Sunday evening’ shtick; it was how the game was played. If you didn’t make an effort to see it weekend 1, you missed it. Oddly, there was comfort in that guarantee. While it was hectic we at least knew what to expect.

Now, homes are moving at varying speeds. In some cases I am the only offer in by Sunday evening. At the same time -with a different buyer- I am one of five offers, but day 20 on market. It makes it that much more important to put your best foot forward with a well written offer: no games, full transparency and a good line of communication with the other agent.

On the flip side, for sellers, it is paramount to have reasonable expectations. Sellers right now have missed the peak (not to say that this Spring won’t bring a second wave) and you cannot be greedy. Take a good offer that comes in. You cannot enter emotional panic mode if your home hasn’t sold in the second week on market. Many buyers, mine included, have been house hunting for a while and feel comfortable passing on houses. Buyers have more emotional detachment than sellers right now, feeling empowered by their position of having a choice (dang, got pretty deep there).

What do you think is going to happen Nina?

Glad you asked! I think the inventory is going to get worse before it gets better. It will remain more of a sellers market than buyers market for at least another year. Buyers aren’t as invested anymore, many are writing offers just to see what ‘sticks’.

What I HOPE happens…

Truthfully, I hope you hire me to sell your home. That’s right, I said it. This Spring, I enter my seventh year in this business. The market has varied greatly in that time. Agents that started in 2015 like me have packed wildy contrasting market conditions into a short timeline; we can adapt better than anyone and we are in the know.

In the last 24 months, I’ve worked with some true rockstars on the other side of a transaction, but I’ve also been aghast at some of the behavior from well-known agents in the area. It’s cliche to say, but it is important who you work with. Align yourself with my peer group of listing agents that are competent, kind and flexible.

Hot diggity dog, that was really satisfying to get out. Let’s go to work!

I pulled each number directly from the MLS closed sales between 07/01/2021-09/30/2021. I filtered the search to include only standard sales and divided them into single family homes and town homes + condos as those are two drastically different markets.

Nothing absolutely bonkers to report in AACO single family home market, while some numbers have changed, the meat and potatoes are the same. My listings in this area never hit the market in Q3, we got a buyer within a day of putting the for sale sign in the yard.

Allow me to paint a picture for you: it is 2017, you just bought a three level bump out in Piney Orchard for $355,000 and got $13k in seller credits towards closing. You can now sell your home for $425,000 and have some of YOUR closing costs covered. Yes, that is almost 20% increase in value. Not bad for four years- smart purchase!

In Quarter 3 I listed two single family homes in Baltimore City. One home sold above asking price with multiple offers. The second home sold before I even listed it – that is a story that needs to be told one of these days. This Summer I also snagged two single family homes for my buyers, one of which got a new roof paid for by the sellers (that is also a really long story for a different day). It is always a fun hunt to track down suburban pockets of single family homes within the City. Some of my favorites include Homeland, Hamilton-Lauraville and Belvedere.

The Baltimore row home market is not for the faint of heart. Talk about unpredictable. Main issue (but also benefit to buyers) is that there are SO many homes. There is certainly not an exodus from the City, anyone saying that doesn’t see what I see. With the amount of businesses in the geographic area, there is a lot of turnover. It has been and always will be a populated transient community. When a home is in good shape in a good location, it is gone. If the home has a bit too much ‘charm’ it might sit for a minute. Many listings are on market for 60 days right now and that is ok.

Here is a weird one. The house in the photo above was a Redfin Hot Home! If you have the app, you know the algorithm Gods bestow this title upon homes that have been viewed/saved and toured more than others. Usually a ‘hot home’ sells in a week. Well, we wrote an offer on this house and it was accepted…a full 30 days later. It appraised at value, passed inspection and was a smooth settlement; just really bizarre if you ask me. Owners and listing agent were all amazing. Also, one of my all time favorite homes in my favorite area just outside of Anneslie.

Are you reading the days on market count again too? Yes, SIX days, it is not a typo. The County has a great inventory in the town home department! The prices are more tolerable than our neighbors in Howard County (wait until you scroll to that number), making this a worthwhile place to bookmark for your house hunt.

Recently got outbid on a property in River Hill. That neighborhood is beautiful and is so desirable. Looking at it abstractly and being asked by a client, ‘why is this neighborhood so desirable?’ I felt lost for a reason truthfully. It does not make sense to me. I think there is a group mentality that it is the place. The schools are great, sure, but they are great all over that area. I’d love your personal feedback and experience with River Hill.

I’ve always felt that the Howard Co townhouse market is the most competitive. It is the price point, the schools, the location; a perfect storm really. Seeing that the list price vs sold price is 101.6% is odd to me, because it is different than my personal experience. I did have a lot of success here, but each townhouse I closed in Q3 was well over list price, more than 1.6%.

The numbers for Carroll Co include both single family and townhouse/condo sales because there isn’t as much inventory. Median Sale price seems wonky to me too; it is possible that in Q2 I only included SFH (will update this, thanks for bearing with me). My buyers purchased a lovely, spacious colonial in immaculate condition. We were aggressive with our terms, above asking, as-is and even paid the seller portion of the transfer/recordation taxes. It was a happy settlement with previous owners and new residents all equally excited.

Listed a brick rancher recently in College Park for $450k (3/2/1). The house was in great shape structurally/mechanically, but almost all original cosmetic updates. First weekend on market we had 3 offers in hand and settled at $500k without inspection and waived appraisal. I was thrilled to advocate for my seller and get her to the finish line and on to the next chapter.

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