Berlin, Md. – The latest figures from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) reflects great news for the local industry – sales are up in all three counties on the Lower Shore. The impetus behind this surge reflects even better news for local buyers – interest rates for fixed mortgages are down.
According to the association’s local market statistics, October 2014 saw an increase in both contracts and settlements in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties compared to the same time last year. New contracts, or pending sales, of single family homes and condominiums went up 18.8 percent and new settlements, or completed transactions went up 3.9 percent.
Lauren Bunting, of Bunting Realty in Berlin, said a continued decrease in interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages could be the impetus for this encouraging uptick in home sales. Freddie Mac recently reported that the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 3.98 percent, down from 4.10 percent this time last year.
“We saw solid interest and activity throughout the summer months, and the recent drop in interest rates has created a welcome sense of urgency and affordability,” Bunting said. “With the lower interest rates, buyers can up their purchase price and it opens them up to more options when looking for a new home.”
“Following several months of increasing contracts, we’ve been expecting a surge in settlement numbers as these sales came to fruition,” said Sheila Dodson, executive director of CAR. “Each month, our local statistics reflect a more active market, which indicates a healthier local economy.”
Average days on the market for single family homes and condominiums in all three counties saw a decrease in October, compared to September, from 109 to 104.
Visit www.coastalrealtors.org for more information about CAR’s local housing statistics.