Washington County home sales fall, but prices rise

Washington County’s home sales fell in March, but the average house price rose, according to figures released last week.

The April statistics from the Maryland Association of Realtors show that 145 Washington County houses were sold in April.

That is down 7.1 percent from the 156 sold in April 2016. A total of 629 homes were on active inventory last month, down from 791 in April 2016.

However, the average sale price rose to $195,346, up 4.6 percent from the April 2016 average of $186,829.

For the state as a whole, April home sales rose 2 percent, from 6,823 in April 2016 to 6,962 in April 2017, the association reported Thursday.

The number of houses on active inventory fell from 26,669 in April 2016 to 22,582 last month. But the average sale price rose 5.8 percent, from $310,640 last year to $328,671 in April, the figures show.

"While we are disappointed by the slight downturn in April’s home sales and active inventory, the steady rise in average and median prices is encouraging," association President Shelly Murray said in a news release announcing the monthly statistics. "We remain optimistic that buyers and sellers will become more engaged in the market in the months ahead."

Among Maryland jurisdictions, Montgomery County reported the highest average sales price in April at $546,156, up 3.6 percent from April 2016.

Allegany County reported the lowest average price for April at $94,837, down 7.9 percent from the same month a year ago.

Montgomery County recorded the most April home sales, 1,117, up from 1,103 for the same month a year ago.

Somerset County reported the fewest home sales at 14, down from 21 for the same month in 2016.