January Home Sales

New release of homes sales info (link) for the month of January. We are seeing an increased activity building in front of anticipated rises in interest rates and the cost of FHA loans.

Home Improvements...worth it?

I found this site recently which purports to show the dollar return on home projects. It makes for interesting reading. Is it reality reporting? What do you think?

Shop Maryland Energy

Here’s a great opportunity (it comes once a year) to purchase energy star products and not pay Maryland sales tax. If you were on the fence about purchasing………..

Shop Maryland Energy

Maryland's Tax Free Weekend for Certain Energy Star ProductsMarylanders will get a break from the state's 6 percent sales tax on qualifying Energy Star products from February 19-21, 2011. During Shop Maryland Energy weekend, the following Energy Star products are tax free:
  • Air conditioners
  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Furnaces
  • Heat pumps
  • Boilers
  • Solar water heaters (tax-exempt at all times now)
  • Standard size refrigerators
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs

Shop Maryland Energy weekend will occur in perpetuity (or until legislative amendment) from the Saturday immediately preceding the third Monday in February until the third Monday of February. Additionally, a tax free week on clothing and footwear priced $100 or less will occur every year during the second week of August.

Foreclosures sell at 27% Discount!

Have you ever wondered how much less a foreclosed home will sell for over a non foreclosure sale? Here is an interesting article (Click Here) out of MIT which indicates that foreclosures will sell at a 27% discount over regular sales. Since foreclosed homes make up a significant portion of our current market this, information can serve as a helpful guide when considering how much to offer on one of these distressed properties.

How’s the Housing Market?

This is a question I am frequently asked and here is the statistical answer for 2010.

Howard County:

New Listings (inventory) is up 9% from 5,033 to 5,486. Last year we had more homes for sale on the market so it’s no surprise housing prices didn’t really increase in 2010.

Closed Sales down 1.7% - This number is a reflection of a sluggish economy but still surprising considering record setting low interest rates were a tremendous incentive for homebuyers.

Median Sales Price was up 5.9% .Median is one type of average, found by arranging values in order and then selecting the one in the middle. This is a reflection of an increase in sales in specific price categories. For example the median price can rise if more homes in the $400-$500k range sold in 2010 than in 2009. It is definitely not indicating a rise in overall home values.

Average Days on Market is down 22% from 99 in 2009 to 77. This number indicates an increase in buyer confidence. When homes are priced well and in good condition they can quickly go under contract as buyers move decisively.

Other counties are listed under Market Statistics 2010 Summary. Check out your county to see exactly how you fared.