How-to Monday: Where homes are selling
If you're a would-be buyer, you'll probably want to know that, too.
Or you could look below for my crunch of MRIS and Coastal Association of Realtors data in May, as collected by the Maryland Association of Realtors. The first page ranks Maryland's counties (and Baltimore City) by the number of listings per sale in May, and the second shows the change in sales in May 2008 vs. May 2007.
Remember, click on the magnifying glass if you want to make the image larger.
As you can see, Somerset County on the Eastern Shore -- one of the poorest jurisdictions in the state -- was really buffeted in May. Fewer than half a dozen homes sold. With 342 properties on the market, that's 68 listings for every sale. Another way of looking at that: It would take 68 months, or more than five-and-a-half years, to sell all those homes if buying continues at the same pace there.
Garrett, Talbot, Worcester and Kent counties all topped 20 months in May, well above the state average of a year.
The Baltimore metro area looks pretty good by comparison, ranging from a high of 11 months in Anne Arundel and Baltimore City to a low of about eight months in Baltimore County and Howard. No other Maryland jurisdiction had a lower share of listings vs. sales than Howard.
The more homes sitting on the market, the harder it is for sellers to sell -- and the easier it is for buyers to make a deal, all else being equal. But it also doesn't hurt to know how the pace of sales in your area is slowing, which is why I crunched the May numbers vs. May 2007.
Washington and Caroline were the only counties that didn't see a slowdown. Washington, in Western Maryland, held steady at 101 sales. Caroline, on the Eastern Shore, rose a heady 45 percent -- though before you get excited, Caroline Countians, keep in mind that's going from 20 sales to 29.
Most of the Baltimore-area jurisdictions saw sales fall about as fast as the state average, 31 percent.