Q1: 2021 Housing Market Round Up

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

My last housing ’round up’ was Q2 2020…I’ve been silent on the data with you since then, for that I apologize. The silence speaks volumes about how things have progressed from that time. Last year I hit a record year, helping THIRTY people find their new homes moving over $10M in volume. This year I am pacing to exceed that with 13 clients already year-to-date in Q1.

Before I get into the numbers, take a moment and look at those smiling faces below. They all experienced HUGE success in this crazy market and because of their creative thinking and reasonable expectations- they did the dang thing! Kudos to all of my clients this year.

Brutal Honesty: it is a sellers market 99.99% of the time. Prices are pushing the envelope, terms are getting more competitive and most contingencies are being waived. Across the entire state, values are up 8.9% on average.

It is a great payment market, meaning the rates you’re paying still keep your long term financial commitment in check BUT you need a bit more cash out of pocket and time on your side. Tough skin is also needed to bear getting outbid anywhere from 3-9 times (it is not for the faint of heart) that’s why I enjoy educating buyers before they hit the pavement so expectations are set. Then- get ready for a wild ride!

Defining Offer Terms

List Price= what the home is put on market for, the price that is represnted by the seller

Offer Price= what my buyers offered on the home, likely not the list price

Home Inspection= you get to hire your own inspector to review the structural mechanical elements of the home. You will see mainly ‘as-is’ in any of the scenarios below. It means that you are free to inspect the home but cannot ask the sellers for any repairs. You can walk away while retaining your earnest money deposit.

Appraisal= a lender orders a third party to ensure a buyer is not over paying for the home and the home won’t hurt them. Your lender will only lend the amount of the appraised value. When a buyer waives the appraisal contingency, they would pay out of pocket for the difference

Escalation Clause= can help in a multiple offer scenario. It is a term that states a buyer will pay $XYZ over any other offer up to $XYZ dollar amount. Sellers are required to show proof of the other offer if the escalation is activated. ex: I offer $325,000 for this property with an escalation to $337,000 paying $1,500 any other bonafide offer. If an offer comes in at $331,000 you would win the bid at a purchase price of $332,500.

Transfer + Recordation Taxes= Maryland charges buyers and sellers tons of transfer and recordation taxes (Thanks Larry!). Traditionally it is split 50/50 and first time home buyers receive a break regardless (Thanks again Larry!). When a buyer agrees to pay for the seller transfer/recordation taxes it increases their cash to close by about 1% of the purchase price.

Other helpful numbers

Outside of down payment, the additional closing costs you should prepare for are estimated between 3-3.5% of the purchase price.

For every $10,000 in purchase price, your payment will +/- $50 per month in your mortgage.

Wowza…now that all of that information is off my chest, let’s get to it!

*The information below comes directly from the Bright MLS closed sales data that I personally researched. All criteria for the search results were for standard sales ONLY (not short-sales, auctions or foreclosures). My opinions based on my experience opening hundreds of local doors between January, February and March are scattered throughout. I am always here for follow up questions! If your county was not represented send me an email NinaGalvez@kw.com and I am happy to generate the details.

Anne Arundel

My home turf. Boy do I love living here. Investing in AACO, specifically in places near Ft. Meade is just so wise, it is what I did. You’re buying a mortgage right now, the payment will be low and you will always be able to rent it out higher than you’re paying for it because the area is so transient. Just consider it and watch it.

Highest Sale Price vs Original List Price: Jessup (103%) and Severna Park (102%)

Keep your eyes peeled on: Crofton. Value increase was modest (stable/safer) at +2.7% growth compared to Q1 2020.

Howard Co

Always a competitive market. My buyers always indicate the reason they want to live here is because of the highly rated schools, impeccable resale value for future and the convenience.

Highest Sale Price vs Original List Price: Mount Airy (102%) and Columbia (102%)

Keep your eyes peeled on: Elkridge. Value increase was higher than I would have guess at +9.7% from Q1 2020. Average prices were less than the big sellers like Ellicott City + Columbia, but you still get ‘Howard County).

Baltimore City

Oh Charm City, you are so pretty to me. I have learned more about Baltimore this last year than ever before. There is more inventory than anywhere else making it less competitive. But it is still an ‘above asking price’ market even here.

Highest Sale Price vs Original List Price: Gywnn Oak (103%) and Brooklyn (102%)

Keep your eyes peeled on: Brooklyn. Value increase was outrageous at +47.7% from Q1 2020. Average prices are still lower, about $211k.

Baltimore County

Can someone please buy a beautiful home in Catonsville please? It is really all I want. Can you imagine living your best life walking distance to State Fare and also bike-able to Patapsco State Park? I digress…one day I may get Mr. Galvez on board with Catosnville.

Highest Sale Price vs Original List Price: Upperco (107%) and White Hall (104%)

Keep your eyes peeled on: Cockeysville + Towson. List Price vs Sale price was around 98% average which means that there might be seller credits happening and actually paying less than list price here (WAIT WHAT!?) But there is a 4.4% increase in that from last year Q1 which gives me warm and fuzzies that values are increasing.

So…you scrolled to the bottom for a synopsis

…or you fell asleep reading this and your cat just scrolled because she was just as frustrated as I was getting outbid for the 10th time this month.

  • if you’re buying a home this year, you’re going to be OK I promise, there is still plenty of time and plenty of fun to be had along the way
  • prepare to pay all of your closing costs (around 3.5% of purchase price) and possibly the extra 0.5% to cover the seller transfer.
  • waiving appraisals, while terrifying, is one of the best ways to win in a multiple offer scenario
  • inspections are essentially for informational purposes only
  • rates are INSANELY low, so you as a buyer get that longterm benefit- I’m talking thousands and thousands of dollars over the course of your mortgage if you buy now
  • It is POPPING in Maryland with every county closing at over 100% of the list price
It’s a good time to call me if you…
  • you want to sell your home for a historically high price
  • heard rumors about how crazy real estate is and want the facts
  • want to move before the end of 2021
  • know someone starting the process who wants house hunting to be a fun experience
  • have been following the interest rate vs inventory shortage over the last months and don’t know if it is the best time for YOU to buy/sell


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