ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s July housing market continued its upward pace with an 8.1 percent increase in both units sold and average sale price when compared to 2019. July saw 9,602 total homes sold, an increase of 736 from 2019, while the average sale price rose to $394,723, a $29,734 gain from 2019. Median sale price grew as well, by 7.3 percent, rising to $339,900.

The median national home listing price grew by 8.5 percent year-over-year, to a new high of $349,000 in July. This is an acceleration from the 5.1 percent year-over-year growth seen in June. The nation’s median listing price per square foot also grew by 9.5 percent year-over-year, an acceleration from the 7.7 percent growth seen last month. Regionally, prices are increasing most in the Northeast, where they are now growing at an average rate of 11.4 percent year-over-year, compared to a growth rate of 9.1 percent for the West, 9.1 percent for the Midwest and 5.0 percent for the South.

“While real estate remains a bright spot in this pandemic economy, our ongoing concern is with the increasingly tight inventory. July’s months of available inventory — homes placed on the market—continued to tighten to 1.6 months compared to 3.5 months last year,” said Maryland REALTORS® President John A. Harrison. “This economy certainly has buyers for real property, but we need more sellers to balance the market.”

To underscore the need for inventory, July’s active inventory — the homes and properties available for sale — was 11,321 units. This figure represents just 45 percent of the 25,111 units available in July 2019.

Nationally, inventory decreased 32.6 percent year-over-year, a faster rate of decline compared to the 27.4 percent year-over-year drop in June. This amounted to a loss of 440,000 listings compared to July of last year. The volume of newly listed properties in July decreased by 13.4 percent since last year. While still well below last year’s levels, the rate of decline in newly listed properties has improved from a peak decline of 44.1 percent year-over-year in April, and a decline of 19.3 percent year-over-year last month. Regionally, the Northeast has seen the greatest improvement in newly listed properties, now down only 1.2 percent year-over-year, compared to down 10.0 percent in the West, 16.1 percent in the South, and 20.8 percent in the Midwest.

According to Harrison, the challenge facing the industry is to find meaningful ways to help sellers enter the market.

“Houses are moving fast in this market,” Harrison said. “We need to figure out how to communicate to sellers who are on the fence that now is a good time to enter.”

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