Washington County’s home sales keep pace in March

Washington County home sales in March were on the same pace as the same month in 2016, according to new figures released last week.

The March statistics, reported by the Maryland Association of Realtors, showed the average home sale price in Maryland rose by 6.2 percent, from $291,071 last year to $309,102 this year.

The number of houses sold last month in Maryland rose 18.8 percent, from 5,768 in March 2016 to 6,850 in of March this year. The March total also was stronger than the February total of 4,756.

“We are pleased by the robust turnaround in homes sales in March,” association President Shelly Murray said in a news release. “Coupled with the strong increases in both average and median prices, this is indicative of a healthy market.”

In Washington County, the average home price fell by 1.4 percent in March, from $167,606 last year to $165,324 this year, the report said.

The number of Washington County homes sold increased by 0.7 percent, from 139 in 2016 to 140 this year, the figures show.

The number of Washington County homes on what the association calls “active inventory” fell from 745 in March 2016 to 597 last month.

Murray said the strong numbers are a double-edged sword for some Free State counties.

“While strong sales is good for counties with a large backlog of inventory, there is some concern in counties with low inventory,” she said. “It could limit choice for buyers in the coming months.”

Murray added: “We look forward to an active spring market with increased consumer engagement.”

Among Maryland jurisdictions, Montgomery County reported the highest average sales price in March at $510,481, up 7.7 percent from March 2016.

Allegany County reported the lowest average price for March at $87,820, but that was up 14.5 percent from the average price of $76,720 recorded in March 2016.

Every jurisdiction in the state except Somerset County reported more home sales in March than for the same month a year ago.

In Somerset County, March home sales fell from 20 in 2016 to 13 this year. The average sales price in Somerset County dropped 31.6 percent, from $140,847 in March 2016 to $96,385 for March of this year.

For the first quarter of the year, the association’s reports show a 2.5 percent increase in Washington County home sales, from 358 last year to 367 this year.

The statewide home sales figures for the first quarter show a 9.4 percent increase, from 14,945 last year to 16,343 this year.