***UPDATED OCTOBER 13, 2020***
Yes, the COVID-19 epidemic is still upon us. Face masks are still mandatory in most places. Clorox-brand disinfectant wipes are tough to come by. Restaurants are still seating outside. AND the number of active homes for sale is still down.
Previously, Part 1 of this Covid-19 blog series detailed COVID’s early impact on the Maryland real estate market and how agents adjusted operations as essential workers in the new environment. Part 2 of the COVID real estate impact blog series, highlighted new obstacles involved in the transactions for both buyers and sellers. This piece focuses sharply on the ever-important supply side of the Maryland real estate market, and the subsequent pull this is having on the demand side.
The Maryland residential real estate market is still very active. While inventory is tight, it is being met with one of the most robust and active buyer sets I’ve seen. Take it from me, if you speak to a Realtor, chances are they have never worked harder and around the clock. It seems that no matter where you are looking, city or county, everyone is dealing with multiple offer situations.
Don’t take my word for it, the details are in the data. Below you will find six graphs of the Maryland counties that I work most frequently (alphabetically ordered):
Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.
Each graph depicts the number of active homes on the market for a given month in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. The gold bars represent the number of active homes in 2019 and the blue represents 2020’s numbers.
*example: There were 2,245 active listings in Anne Arundel County August 2019. In August 2020 there were 934 active listings!
These graphs are a powerful visual of the epidemic’s impact to supply of available real estate throughout Maryland. What these numbers also demonstrate is, while the world is starting to open back up, the supply is still lagging far behind the amount of activity from the same period last year.
The September numbers are in and the trend of a low supply and high demand market is still on-going. According to the MLS, the number of active listings in the Mid-Atlantic Region of Maryland from September 2019 was 67,882. The number of active listings in September 2020 was 35,915! To keep the focus in Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard Counties, see the updated graph below. You will find that in most of these counties the supply is down more than 50%.
Maryland Real Estate Market in Covid-19
People always ask me, “What is it like? Is this a good market?” The resounding answer right now is yes, the market is fantastic for sellers. Sellers are getting great money for their homes. But what about the buyers? I am closing deals this summer when my buyers are locking in 2.25%-2.5% interest rates, 30-year fixed!
I hope you found this as fasinating as I did. If you are looking to sell or purchase, let me work this complex, yet rewarding real estate market for you! Feel confident with a full time Maryland Realtor that understands this markete, contact Suzie Coronel.
In my previous blog post, I provided insights on COVID’s impact on the MD real estate market. In follow-up piece, I will briefly explain the new and ongoing issues associated with real estate transactions, as well as new developments happening in the MD real estate market due to COVID.
It is clear that no one can predict the end of COVID. As the year progresses, Realtors are constantly tweaking typical practices. Below you will find 2 properties that were listed by agents for almost 150 days BEFORE COVID hit. I took the listings and got them under contract, quickly, and during COVID. This is a proof that not all agents are equal. The second quarter officially ended June 30, 2020 and will go down as one all of us full-time Realtors will never forget.
Visitors to my website can find the typical selling process and the typical buying process; which is where I deirect most of my new clients. However, sellers and buyers will always be in different situations, so from there I conform a plan to fit each situation. The image on this post highlights my transactions that started at the beginning of COVID, April 2020, and closed by June 2020. Not one transaction was “typical”. Below you will see a quick review of the obstacles each transaction had.
- Detached home in Essex, Balt County, DOM (Days On Market) 7
– The previous agent had this listing on 10/30/2019. She had it listed for 146 days. I was hired to take on the listing 4/25/2020 and put it under contract in 7 days.
– Buyer’s agent didn’t feel comfortable showing homes to buyers during COVID, so I showed it to them for her. Buyers were from NYC during the height of COVID.
– Home appraised for $5000 under the purchase price. Appraiser used comps from 2019 and said that our market was no different from last year. I argued the appraisal. I lost. I filed a competency complaint to the commission.
- Row Home in Patterson Park, Balti City, DOM 66
– Seller occupied the home, some buyers and Realtors weren’t wanting to go into an occupied house because of COVID
– Buyer was a (FTHB) first time homebuyer with a very protective father.
– Buyer’s agent was fairly new.
- Condo in New Market, Frederick County, DOM 24
– Sellers bought this in Dec 2019, new construction. Life happens and we listed it not even 3 months into them owning it.
– It was attracting older buyers looking to downsize. I was sure to market that the condo was in fact clean and vacant to help buyers feel more comfortable seeing properties during COVID
- Row Home in Patterson Park, Balt City, DOM 1
– Home appraised for $5000 under the purchase price. Appraiser used comps from 2019 with completely different amenities and said that our market was “in balance” in reference to supply and demand. I argued the appraisal. I lost. Competency complaint is in the works.
– The buyer, the buyer’s agent, and the lender backed my argument. A great example of working with great professionals.
- Row Home in Canton, Balt City, DOM 23
– Seller was moving out of state for a new position in the medical field.
– Buyer was furloughed but starting back to work Aug 1st. (lending nightmare)
- Detached home in Glen Burine, Anne Arundel County, DOM 4
– We 70 showings in 2 days.
– Since COVID, Realtors can’t book showings that overlap other showings. Trying get everyone through without overlapping was tough.
- Row Home in Federal Hill, Balt City, DOM 10
– Probably one of the smoothest settlements of the quarter!
– Great agent, buy, and seller
- Row Home in Canton, Balt City, DOM 8
– Home had been vandalized while under contract. That contract was released.
– The new buyer is gutting it for a CHAP renovation.
- Row Home in Canton, Balt City, DOM 39
– Buyers came from out of state. Their agent used FaceTime to show them the house. The day of settlement was the first the buyers had seen the house.
– Contract was contingent on the buyers selling a home in Denver, CO
– So much could have gone wrong, but with strong agents on all sides (even in CO), all went as planned.
- Detached Home in Bel Air, Harford County, DOM 15
– Home went under contract within the first week. Buyer’s backed out.
– Home goes back on the market and under contract within a week.
– Part of the appraisal required a power line to be removed. BGE went out and labeled whose line was who’s. Comcast was also quick on going out. But Verizon…. which was the line that need to go, wouldn’t go out because of COVID. Nightmare!
There should have been 2 more properties highlighted but both settlements got pushed into July.
Pushed settlement #1` – Detached Home in Overlea, Balt City, DOM 25
–The previous agent had this listing on 11/01/2019. She had it listed for 148 days. I was hired to take on the listing 4/25/2020 and put it under contract in 25 days.
– VA financing
– Buyer isn’t able to sign or send docs online
– Buyer’s agent isn’t full time
– This settled in July (3rd quarter)
Pushed settlement #2` – Detached Home in Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel County, DOM 8
– VA financing w/ Navy Federal, never again will I suggest a seller take a contract with Navy Federal financing.
– Buyer is ACTIVE military and transfer to MD was hauled due to COVID
– This was supposed to settle in April! This settled 7/13/2020 (3rd quarter)
Whether you are a BUYER or a SELLER, choose a Realtor that is getting results.
Insights from a top real estate agent in Baltimore, MD
While I cannot speak to the science behind this Covid-19 or what impact the virus had, and continues to have, on stock markets and other industries, I can speak to the Maryland real estate market that I am activity involved in.
March is historically the very beginning of the spring market in Maryland real estate. This is typically the busiest season/quarter of the year. At the beginning of COVID, my real estate business continued per usual – sellers were listing and buyers were out looking. Towards the end of March and the beginning of April, the governor initiated restrictions impacting a majority of the state’s population. “Essential” became a buzz word, with Maryland Governor Hogan declaring Realtors “essential workers.” However, this gray area left many real estate agents across Maryland unclear of what we could do and not do. Could MD buyer clients view homes in person? Do “high risk” MD sellers take their homes off the market?
Maryland Real Estate Agent’s Response to Covid
What did real estate agents across Maryland do? All of the above. Some agents suggested sellers pull their listings. Some agents limited showings to “virtual tours.” Some agents felt it was unsafe to show their buyer-client properties. Some suggested to hold off until we knew more about the pandemic.
It’s important to acknowledge every real estate agent’s situation is different, and that needs to be taken into consideration. I reached out to other Realtors that I respect within the industry to get their thoughts and help weigh the options I was considering. Following these conversations and taking into consideration my personal situation – healthy, single individual with no children or elderly living in my personal residence, I then educated myself on recommendations outlined by the public health experts and decided what was best for me and my clients.
After deciding what I was comfortable with, I reached out to each of my clients to see how they wanted to proceed. Not one client hesitated with my direction. Not one seller wanted to pull their listing or minded potential buyers seeing the properties in person. Not one buyer wanted to do virtual tours vs in-person showings. Not one buyer was concerned about lending. For these reasons, I continued servimng my clients like I always have, while adhereing to protocols from health officials and scientists.
The official 2nd quarter of 2020, April 1st – June 30th , has been a straight hustle! It is truly a seller’s market because inventory is so low. Most buyers entered into competing contracts and houses didn’t sit on the market. By June 30th I will have closed 12 homes since April 1st. No transaction is alike and contracts during COVID was no different.
My gut feeling is that inventory will soon be on the rise. I’ve decided to keep track of ACTIVE listings by county. I’ve focused on Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll, Harford and Howards Counties. I’ll be posting a bi-monthly blog base on my findings so that you can see for yourself.
The bases of this blog…LIST YOUR HOME! Give me a call at (410) 336-2569.
Just a few fun pics of lisitng appointments and showings during COVID
The Federal Hill neighborhood is one of the most popular in Baltimore City. The access to 95 and 83 without paying the tolls make the location preferable. But the close proximity to the harbor, the bars and restaurants, and short walk to downtown make it an even more desired neighborhood. Within Federal Hill, there are so many tight knit communities. 113 E Gittings Street sits in on of these close communities.
When most home buyers are looking for houses in the Federal Hill area, there check list is usually:
2+ full bathrooms
3+ finished levels
A roof deck
I think it’s a safe assumption that if you are renting, you’re probably spending $1500+. As a renter you don’t get any real estate tax deductions but most of all, that money is spent doesn’t go toward anything for yourself in the end. So many times I talk with renters and then end up helping them become Maryland First Time Home Buyers!
Take a look at Glen Burnie. So many people like this area because of the location near 695, convenience to Fort Meade, area shopping centers, and the affordability. If you look up the 21061 Glen Burnie zip code, there are only FIVE detached homes with 3+ bedrooms under $250,000.00.
[stats pulled May 21, 2020 @11:44am]
Let’s take 349 Thelma Ave, Glen Burnie, MD 21061 for example. This property just hit the market. It’s a split level detached home. On the upper level there are 3 bedrooms, an updated full bath, and an updated kitchen. On the lower level there’s a large family room, laundry room, half bath, and additional room that could be used as a 4th bedroom. The backyard is large and flat! Check out the some photos below.
So what would this cost? This house is on the market for $230,000. If you do an FHA loan, you’d need to put down 3.5% of the purchase price. At $230,000 your money down would be $8,050. I called my preferred lender Jon Vitak of Coastal Lending Group to run some numbers based off:
Purchase price: $230,000
Interest Rate: 3%
The estimated monthly payment with principle, interest and taxes is about $1300.00
This is exactly what I was thinking. So many are paying over $1500 a month in rent and they could own for even less! If you want more information on the home buying process or want a personal tour of 349 Thelma Ave in Glen Burnie, contact Suzie Coronel!