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Maryland sees steep decline in home sales amid high interest rates, economic uncertainty

Maryland sees steep decline in home sales, realtor association finds
Maryland sees steep decline in home sales, realtor association finds 02:30

BALTIMORE -- As the spring homebuying season kicks into gear, the housing inventory struggles with high interest rates. And buyers are now facing more challenges than ever in buying a new home here in Maryland.

It is certainly a seller's market right now, but if you're looking to buy in Maryland you won't want to wait around too long. Because of low inventory, most properties are taken off the market on average within 9 days according to Maryland Realtors, a realtors association.

According to the latest data by the association, the state has seen a sharp decline in home sales over the past quarter. In fact, last month home sales dropped by 13.9% the largest drop so far this year.

Experts are pointing to a number of factors, including elevated interest rates, a decrease in housing affordability, and lingering economic uncertainty.

Data from a recent survey by Maryland Realtors revealed the state is short 150,000 housing units.

Chris Hill, president of the association, says the lack of inventory continues to be the primary factor driving prices higher, putting homeownership out of reach for many.

On average in our state, you'll be paying about $473,000 for a home - that's up more than 6% compared to last year.

In response to the housing crisis, House Bill 538 recently passed the Maryland General Assembly and is heading to the governor's desk. The bill incentivizes developers to add affordable housing options in future developments.

"The governor's housing package, although we're encouraged by it, you know they're kind of baby steps in the right direction," Hill said. "I don't think there's any quick fix for this."

"I think it's something that can help," he said. "It grants density bonuses, and it eases some zoning restrictions on some housing projects and areas adjacent to transit. Those kinds of things."

There's a lot of buzz about the possibility of lower mortgage rates later this year, adding a layer of anticipation and uncertainty to the market.

Experts recommend getting in touch with a good realtor early in the process of home buying or selling.

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