December 2020 Housing Statistics in Montgomery County, Maryland
As first-time homebuyers enter the market and interest rates remain low, there has been an influx of buyers who are feeling mounting pressure over very scarce inventory. In a typical year the market undergoes a seasonal slowdown in the winter months but this December the real estate market was as hot as ever. There were 22.8% more units sold in Maryland and 21.7% more units sold in Montgomery County this December compared to a year ago; pending inventory increased by 38.0% in Maryland and 39.4% in Montgomery County.
Inventory continues to be the thorn in buyers’ sides— already scant inventory is predicted to be in even shorter supply and home sales and sales prices continue to be strong and show no signs of slowdown. Average sales prices continued to rise steadily with a 12.8% increase in Maryland and a 9.6% increase in Montgomery County compared to December 2019. But perhaps what is most staggering is the lack of inventory— there was 59.6% less active inventory in Maryland and 45.8% less active inventory in Montgomery County this December compared to December 2019. And homes are getting snapped up much quicker than before: Maryland’s median days on market have gone from 26 to 9 and Montgomery County’s median days on market have dropped from 24 to 8 between December 2019 and December 2020.
Some experts predicted that buyers would gain some leverage with more distressed sellers and therefore more inventory due to the pandemic but instead sales have increased and inventory has remained tight. Though in December 2020 there was a 27.1% increase of new listings in Maryland and a 49.2% increase of new listings in Montgomery County compared to December 2019, more inventory will need to come on the market to keep up with the increased demand. Immediate relief can only be provided by more sellers entering the market as new construction will eventually increase inventory but not at the timetable required to make an impact for current buyers.