Ocean City Today

Worcester’s listings down, sales prices up

By Brian Gilliland | Apr 05, 2018

(April 6, 2018) The Coastal Association of Realtors delivered its annual report to the Worcester County Commissioners this week, and while the local market doesn’t quite reach 2007’s heights, the association’s view is that the county is now firmly a seller’s market.

And while prices and inventory are lower than they were during the boom, more homes have been sold, more new contracts have been signed and a greater volume of homes have been sold in 2017 than had been a decade before.

Worcester County, inclusive of its municipalities, has 4,332 active listings in 2017, which has been trending down since 2013 and is significantly down from 2007’s 6,716 active listings, according to the association’s report.

But, in 2017 2,385 homes were sold, up from 2013’s 1,703 and much higher than 2007’s 1,522 homes.

The prices, however, are another matter. In 2007, the average home price in Worcester was north of $392,000, while it was about $274,000 in 2017. Still, the prices have been trending upward from 2013’s approximately $265,500.

As for the total volume of homes sold, that too has been trending upward, but 2017’s total was the first to eclipse 2007’s approximately $597 million in sales. In 2016, the value was about $549 million, but in 2017 the volume reached almost $654 million.

The low point for sales volume according to the report is 2014’s value of nearly $440 million.

The resort’s numbers follow this same trend.

Active listings are down from 2007’s high of 4,552 to 2,866 in 2017, and have been trending down since 2013. Home sales, however, have trended upwards from 933 in 2007 to 1,453 in 2017. In 2016, 1,293 homes were sold.

The average home price has fallen from $436,277 in 2007 to $287,418 in 2017, but with the number of homes sold, the gross revenue from sales in 2017, at about $418 million, surpasses that of 2007, at about $407 million.

Ocean Pines went from selling 270 homes at an average price of about $342,000 in 2007 to selling 423 homes at an average price of about $270,000 in 2017 — a jump in gross revenue from about $92 million to more than $114 million. Inventory is down from 930 active listings in 2007 to 572 in 2017.

Berlin has seen a significant jump in its numbers during the past decade, while still following the trends of the other areas and county. Down from 623 active listings in 2007 to 554 in 2017, the Berlin market saw the number of homes sold nearly double within the same timeframe, from 170 to 327. The average sales price has come down from about $349,000 in 2007 to about $264,000 today, but the market has actually increased from almost $59.3 million to more than $86.5 million in the same timeframe.

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