“Wild” seller’s market creates bidding wars in Anne Arundel County

The economy may have entered troubled waters, but don’t tell that to the Anne Arundel County housing market. According to BrightMLS.com, The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of a home remains near last month’s decade-high record of $300,000. It has posted the largest year-over-year gain (+8.3%) since July 2012. One veteran local realtor even called the market “wild”. Bev Langley with Keller Williams, pulled over to the side of the road to chat a few minutes Wednesday August 12 about her experience lately with intense local housing transactions. “It’s wild,” said with a laugh. “We’ve had a lot of bidding wars and it’s been really busy.” She said she thought the current strong seller’s market was due to very low interest rates on mortgages, a low inventory, and also one other less-reported circumstance. “There's a lot of things driving it,” she said. “For some reason in Anne Arundel County, I think a lot of people kept their jobs, or at least they're getting paid. They're buying houses. They're selling houses.” Langley was in the middle of another full work schedule, when she was interviewed. “This morning, I was going to a settlement in Annapolis,” she said. “I'm on my way to a listing appointment at nine. I have a listing appointment at eleven. I have a settlement at two...so it's busy.” The realtor said she has been one of the top performers in the area for some time. She distinguished her style of brokering home sales from others by explaining that she covers a lot of her clients needs through solo personal attention. “I’ve been in the top three for 30-some years,” Langley said, “I'm not really a team. They're all mine. I don't have a layer of people that I’m doing the business through. I do it all myself.” With a hot housing market, she estimates she is ahead of her sales goals for this year, as well as last year. “I think I have 85 (properties) sold so far this year and my goal was 100,” she said. “So my I’m almost at my goal. Last year I probably did 90 all year. This is a much better year.” The current seller’s advantage can be good for those putting a house up for sale, but it can be rough for those trying to make a purchase, particularly first-time buyers. “It's not unusual for a house to go on the market and have like five to 10 contracts within two days,” Langley said. “It's really crazy. It's just too harsh. It's really rough on first-time buyers. You know, I feel like they're paying too much money, because they're giving everything up, and you know, when things settle back, they're going to be stuck in a house they paid $20,000 too much for.” The realtor helped with a transaction for her own child in the spring and the sale had a similar trajectory. The extra cost has been mitigated however by an increase in home values. “I sold my own child a house,” Langley said. “It was listed for $250,000 and she bid it up to $270,000. Since we did that in April, that same neighborhood, same house would go up $30,000 more. Her neighborhood has jumped 10 percent in value since March.” What properties are being picked up quickly? “Everything,” the realtor said. “Absolutely everything. The only thing that can be slow is if it is over $700,000.” But she noted, for waterfront properties, that number can be a starting point. The busy businesswoman had to end the market update to get back on the road, and to another appointment. Another day of a wild local housing market lay ahead of her.