Updated July 22nd, 2019
The Maryland real estate market has a lot going for it. It's been on a roll as a seller's market for some time now. However, with a dense population, limited housing inventory, and a diverse selection of properties in a variety of demographically diverse locations, Maryland is experiencing a turnaround in certain areas that presents opportunities for buyers and investors who dig deep.
Whether you're seeking to sell, buy, or invest in Maryland, make sure you take advantage of the services of an expert realtor with a track record of experience in the Maryland real estate marketplace who can help guide you through Maryland's diverse local markets
2019 Real Estate Market Forecast for Maryland
The Maryland real estate market is hot for 2019. The median home value in Maryland is well above the national average at $289,900 and expected to continue to rise. Maryland home values rose 2.5% over the last 12 months and are expected to rise another 0.8% over the next 12 months (as of June 2019). Low inventory and high demand have Maryland positioned to continue as a seller's market in 2019.
In addition, despite being the ninth smallest state in terms of landmass, Maryland has the fifth-highest population density in the U.S. It also has the wealthiest populace of any state, with a median income of $73,538 as of 2016 — which can lead to higher real estate prices.
Location within Maryland can make a difference. Some of the highest real estate prices in the state are in DC-area suburbs, like Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Potomac, which boast median home values of $855,720, $1 million, and $920,126, respectively.
Other parts of the state, however, are much more affordable for home buyers. Smaller cities, like Frederick ($255,720) and Gaithersburg ($381,356) offer more options for working-class families and government employees. Baltimore can also be a great option, with easy commutes to DC and a median home value of just $121,100.
Is the housing market going up or down in 2019?
Real estate news often talks about the housing market as if it were a single entity. But market conditions can vary from one location to the next, even in the same state. However, there are a few indicators that support the continuance of a seller's market. The first is the fact that there are fewer houses, especially lower-priced houses, than there is demand.
According to data by the National Association of Realtors, NAR, the amount of available lower price range homes is decreasing. The portion of existing homes sold at $250,000 or below account for only about half of existing home sales. In some local markets, buyers who are first-time home buyers seeking to purchase at the lower end of the pricing spectrum could face stiff competition.
Realtor.com recently reported that the number of homes priced above $750,000 grew 11% over last year, while the number of homes $200,000 and under declined by 8%. This decline in the number of lower-priced homes shows that homebuyers seeking lower prices may still face tough competition this year which will help to sustain a seller's market.
In addition, following the federal interest rate hikes of 2018, the expectation was that mortgage rates would increase. But in March the Fed backed off, and the average APR for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell by more than an entire percentage point from 5.09% in November 2018 to 3.91% by July 2019. This has given sales a boost in momentum as buyers rush to lock in low fixed-rate 30-year mortgages while they can.
Will home prices continue to rise into 2020?
CoreLogic HPI Forecast shows home prices will increase by 5.6% up until May 2020. Because wages have not kept up with home prices, higher prices and lack of affordable homes across the nation is holding a classic buyer's market back from fully developing.
However, according to Zillow, while home prices are continuing to rise, they are rising more slowly — what Zillow refers to as “flattening.” And though this softens home value appreciation, it brings some normalcy back into a market where home buyers couldn't keep up with the aggressive home prices.
When Is the Best Time to Sell a House in Maryland in 2019?
If you're a seller in Maryland, it's hard to go wrong with listing your house in the spring or summer. Maryland listing and selling values are at their lowest in January and their highest from April through August. This is also the time of year when the most buyers are looking, resulting in more and higher offers.
Some Maryland locales, including the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metro areas, follow national trends, with the most homes selling above list price when they're listed between May and the first half of June. Homes listed in May sell an average of $1,600 higher and six days faster than homes listed the rest of the year. Other parts of Maryland, however, peak later, with an optimal selling time in June.
Some real estate experts are expecting a slower summer than usual nationwide in 2019, though it's unclear if that will be the case in a reliably hot market like Maryland. If you're unsure of whether spring or summer is the best time to list your home, talk to a local real estate agent for their opinion on the current market.
The Top 5 Hottest Maryland Markets
Baltimore will remain a strong market in Maryland. Asking prices in Baltimore have increased 19.9% over the last 12 months. The median number of days a house was on the market before selling was 64 and the average number of offers prior to the sale was 1.
In Eastern Baltimore, the asking price for houses increased a whopping 44.2% since May 2018.
Within the city of Baltimore, the five best neighborhoods to invest in real estate that have the highest appreciation rate are Falls Rd/Chestnut Ave, Hamden, Woodberry, Falls Rd/ W 40th St, and Falls Rd/ W 28th St.
Near the D.C.-area, some of the most desirable locations in the state are in suburbs like Bethesda and Potomac will always be in high demand because of their proximity to DC. Bethesda is in the lower portion of Montgomery County with both suburban developments and urban areas. It has large employers like the National Institutes of Health, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Lockheed Martin, Marriott and the National Naval Medical Center which will all always keep its market hot.
Potomac is the most affluent town in Maryland. Potomac homes are considered among the most lavish and desirable in Montgomery County. Because of its high quality schools, upscale shopping at Potomac Village and proximity to Washington, DC, Potomac is a very desirable commuter suburb.
The Lutherville suburb of Baltimore. has excellent public schools and a great family environment. It's considered one of the best places to live in Maryland. In June 2018, the median sale price for Lutherville was $380,950. In June 2019, the median sale price was $404,100, an increase of 6% or $23,150 compared to last year. The average number of days a house stayed on the market in Lutherville before selling was 38.
Baltimore's large population, diverse economy, and high ratio of renters are all indicators showing that traditional rental properties in the Baltimore real estate market are a top investment opportunity in 2019. Baltimore is one of the 22 largest US cities where the number of renters exceeds the number of homeowners. The demand for rental properties is high.
When Is the Best Time to Buy a House in Maryland in 2019?
Maryland's hot real estate market is great for homeowners and sellers, but not so great for those looking to buy a new home or investment property. That said, there are still things buyers can do to ensure they both find their dream home and get the best deal possible. One important way to find the right place for you is to time the Maryland market.
When deciding what time is right to buy, it's important to consider your priorities. Buyers looking for the lowest prices should aim to buy in fall or winter, while buyers looking for the most options without regard to price should look towards spring and summer.
As with any other decision in the home buying process, if you're unsure of how to time your purchase, be sure to check with a local real estate agent for expert guidance.
If you're looking for the lowest prices, start looking in the fall and aim to buy the fall or winter. In fall and winter, there are fewer homes on the market but also far fewer people looking to buy.
Particularly in parts of the state with harsher winters, homeowners selling from November through February are often selling because they have to, not because they want to, and that can lead to great deals — if you can find them.
If selection is more important than price, spring is for you. April has the most listings of any month, and April, May, and June are by far the three most popular months for new listings.
Unfortunately for buyers, spring is also the most expensive time to buy in Maryland. In the spring selling season, with the most availability also comes the most competition. Even in the slower years after the recession, Maryland homes have sold well in the spring.
If you want a middle ground between the craziness of spring and the lull of winter, looking towards the end of summer might be for you. There's a larger selection of homes available than in the fall and winter, and unlike in spring, houses will be priced to move.
Homeowners who had hoped to sell in spring or summer, but didn't, will start to lower their prices. Sellers will want to move before the weather gets cold. Parents want to move before the school year starts. And because the end of the season attracts fewer buyers, there should be good deals available. This is especially true for Chesapeake Bay and other locations on the coast.
What is the most affordable place to live in Maryland?
In terms of housing, Cumberland is by far the most affordable place to purchase a house in Maryland. The median home value in Cumberland is $86,300. Cumberland home values have gone up 3.7% over the past 12 months and data as of July 2019 by Zillow predicts they will rise 2.0% within the next year.
Cumberland is a quiet mountain town located in the western part of the state with a rich history and architecture. There is a canal for hiking and biking and a historic scenic train. Locals report a very low cost of living and a small-town feel with ample job opportunities.
Is real estate in Maryland a good investment?
The real estate market in Maryland is generally a good investment primarily because of lack of inventory in a densely populated state. In addition, compared to a lot of high-quality areas near major metros, Maryland can be quite affordable. As a real estate investor, that gives you a great opportunity to buy homes and/or multi-family units to either sell or rent for a decent return on investment.
When investing in real estate you will want to focus on those areas showing the most population growth with a flourishing and diverse economy. Also, consider the property investment you're interested in. The best neighborhood or region to invest in will depend greatly on the investment you're interested in and whether you're in for the long or short-term.
Where can I invest in real estate in Maryland?
Property investment in Maryland offers many options depending on what type of investment you're interested in. For example, if you're interested in rental properties, Baltimore's Mount Vernon is a desirable place to live for many young professionals with an average household income of $58,000. In Mount Vernon, 89% of the estimated 7,500 population rent and the median rent is $1085. This makes it a renter's market within a location with a constrained housing inventory.
If you're looking at flipping houses, a smaller suburb of Baltimore like Wyman Park has promise. Most of the residents own their home and many families are drawn to Wyman Park. There are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops and parks which make it attractive and the median home value has a decent entry price at $284,100.
What are the best Maryland markets to invest in 2019?
Single-family homes are scarce at lower prices in the more popular areas of Maryland. If you're interested in investing in residential real estate and looking to make a profit, the lack of inventory and continual demand make this market attractive for both long-term investors and flippers who find diamonds-in-the-rough by researching rising neighborhoods.
If you do your homework, you can find smaller up-and-coming areas in Baltimore such as Seton Hill, just west of Mount Vernon, which is close enough to Mount Vernon to enjoy its amenities but has a much lower entry price. Row-houses in Seton Hill may be small, but they are in walking distance to Maryland academic institutions such as the University of Maryland, Baltimore, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and the University of Baltimore which make them perfect for student rentals or flipping possibilities.
30% of the population of Maryland rents. In Baltimore, that figure increases to 40%. Baltimore has a large working-class population who cannot afford to purchase homes due to the low inventory of lower-priced houses. Therefore, multi-family units and rentals will continue to be a good investment. The median rent in Baltimore is $1,200 for a 1-bedroom apartment. Given the lack of housing inventory and the demographics of the Baltimore population, multi-family units will continue to be a good market to invest in.
Maryland, while currently in a seller's market, has a lot of opportunity for buyers and investors who know where to look. The growth of Baltimore suburbs and up-and-coming smaller towns may harbor many hidden gems for those who do your homework. The continuous growth of Maryland's diverse economy can create hot markets in pockets were previously off the map.
No matter what type of real estate transaction you plan to engage in, a knowledgeable realtor who is an expert in their local market is going to give an edge above the competition.
For sellers, Clever Partner Agents are the best in their local markets and can give you expert full-service for less.
Top FAQs About Maryland Real Estate Market Trends
What's the current Maryland market outlook?
Maryland has been a highly competitive seller's market for some time. While price trends indicate that it is flattening a bit, the lack of housing inventory in a densely populated state will keep it from turning over to a buyer's market soon. However, low prices, growing local economies and its proximity to Washington, D.C. offer opportunities for buyers and investors who know where to look.
Is Maryland a buyer's or seller's market in 2019?
Maryland is decidedly a seller's market in 2019. High competition for buyers, especially in the low-income range, coupled with the desirability in the high-income range is keeping the Maryland housing market strong. As one of the most densely populated states with a diverse economy and lack of housing inventory, Maryland will most likely remain a seller's market for the remainder of 2019.
What is the average cost of a house in Maryland?
The median home value in Maryland is $289,900. Maryland home values have gone up 2.5% over the past 12 months. Data as of June 2019 by Zillow predicts that home values will continue to rise another 0.8% over the next 12 months. Maryland's housing market is very diverse with homes ranging from under $100,000 to millions. Location is everything when looking at housing costs in Maryland.
Why is the Maryland housing market so high?
While we have been experiencing a seller's market across most of the nation, the housing market in Maryland is high specifically because of increased demand and diminished inventory. In addition, while Maryland has the fifth-highest population density in the nation, it also has the wealthiest populace of any state — boasting a median income of $73,538 — which can lead to higher real estate prices.
Are houses in Maryland cheap?
Prices of houses in Maryland completely depend on location. You can find very inexpensive housing in smaller towns like Cumberland while housing in desirable areas such as Rockville is running close to half a million. When looking at cheap housing in Maryland, whether for an investment or a family home, you will want to research the area to make sure that your investment has a chance to increase in value. The guidance of an expert flat-fee real estate agent who knows the local markets in Maryland is will find you the best deal and save you money.