Don’t always believe what you hear on the Internet, or on the news, or on the radio. Especially when it comes to information about how the housing market, it’s important to note that the ups and downs of your smaller, local market may vary significantly from national, state, or even city-wide data.
When the housing market is brought up on the news, it’s usually a general picture of the entire state or the national trends. While good to know, it’s important to realize that information may not apply to your house.
It’s like owning stock from a specific company. It’s always nice to hear that the DOW went up, but if your specific stock plummeted, then that general good news doesn’t help you much.
Just as you need to monitor your individual stock, it’s important to follow your local housing market.
If you look at the national stats from May (the month with the most complete data at the time this article was written) you will see that the national sales price is up 8 percent over last year. Breaking it down to a smaller market, the Baltimore metro area, the increase in average sales price is 6.9 percent.
Looking even more specifically at 21231 and 21224 zip codes, the average sales price is up 6.4 percent, year over year. In this case, these neighborhoods happened to coincide fairly equally with the greater metro area.
But let’s look at another data point.
The number of properties for sale in Baltimore versus in the 21224 and 21231 area codes varies greatly. In the metro area, there are just 2 percent more properties for sale than last year. In the local zip codes, however, there are 18 percent more properties for sale than last year.
In some areas, an increase like that could mean a large drop in price, but not in this local region, as it coincided with the increase in average sales price.
Let’s dive into some other stats to demonstrate how truly strong these zip codes are.
An 18-percent jump in inventory for some areas would be devastating. A large jump in inventory, supply in economics terms, would mean that a seller would have compete with more houses for sale. If sales, i.e. demand, did not increase, then sellers would essentially need to have fire-sales, just to sell their properties.
We see not just an increase in values with an increased inventory, but also a decrease in average days on market. The zip codes have seen a massive 30.2-percent drop in average days on the market year. Not only are sellers getting more for their properties than they were a year ago, they are selling in less time.
Again, comparing the local numbers with the national figures, the average age of inventory for the country was static (0-percent change), and inventory is actually down 5.8-percent.
While you may have noted at the outset of this column that our local area’s prices haven’t increased as much as the national average, the statistics do look very promising. It’s a very positive sign of the housing recovery and the strength of the 21231 and 21224 zip codes that such a large increase in inventory has been met with a large increase in demand.
National and Baltimore Metro statistics courtesy of REALTOR.com. 21224 and 21231 statistics courtesy of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems.
Mario Valone is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Inner Harbor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-327-2200, and is happy to answer questions.