Despite rising interest rates and dwindling supply, the real estate market continued its acceleration with increasing total sold volume, median price, and units sold and decreasing days on market and available inventory.  Total sold dollar volume was up over 35% in April of 2021 posting more than $288 million in sales compared to $213 million in April of 2020.  Median price was up $20,000 from just last month, coming at $384,075, a more than 5% increase from just March.  Units sold increased from last year by more than 121 units, coming in at 719 properties transacted compared to 598 in April of 2020, a more than 20% year-over-year increase. 

“The housing market in Caroline County is rockin’ and rollin’ for the month of April,” stated FAAR Board of Director Lynn Lenahan.  “Like our neighboring counties, existing homes are receiving multiple offers which means increasing prices and fewer demands by buyers in an effort to win the offer. In the past several years, Caroline hasn’t had a huge amount of new construction like our neighboring counties, but that’s not the case today. Even with the increased cost and demand for materials, new construction is happening in both the Bowling Green side of the County as well as the popular Ladysmith side with its proximity to I-95.  With buyers struggling to win the offer while in competition with sometimes 10, 15 or 25 other offers, building sure begins to look attractive.”

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract and is removed from active status on the multiple listing service, fell nearly 52% with houses averaging a scant 14 days on the market this April compared to the also very low 29 days last year.  In practice, many homes are coming onto the market with sight-unseen offers already made so it is possible that days on market could appear artificially high without controlling for that phenomenon.  A full 81% of homes on the market were sold in less than 10 days, demonstrating how quickly decisions need to be made in this market. 

Not unexpectedly, inventory across the region remains at historic lows.  In April of 2020, there were 1,220 homes on the market.  In April of 2021, there were just 505 homes for sale, representing a nearly 59% year-over-year decline.  However, new listings coming onto the market showed a sizeable increase from March, with 27% more new listings coming on the market this month compared to last month.  In March, there were 944 new listings on the market compared to 1,197 in April.  The 5-year average of new listings is 1,054 so the number posted for April is much more in line with historical trends than we have been seeing over the last year.    

New pendings posted very strong numbers, indicating continued high buyer demand.  In April, the market saw 1,395 new pending contracts compared to 1,135 in the month of March, representing a 23% month-over-month increase.  Some agents have expressed a concern that anything other than a conventional or all-cash offer is not competitive right now, but the statistics indicate that VA and FHA loans remain a sizeable part of the market.  In April of 2020, VA loans made up 29% of sales, FHA 20%, cash offers 5%, and conventional financing 36%.  In April of this year, those numbers have shifted modestly with VA loans accounting for 24% of sales, FHA 17%, cash offers 8%, and conventional financing 43%.  While VA and FHA loans are seeing a smaller market share, there are still many properties being purchased using those types of financing. 

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