BALTIMORE — Temperatures weren't the only thing heating up in June, the local real estate market was as well and that trend continued through the month of July.
According to Chris Finnegan, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Bright MLS, the market is continuing to gain momentum and catch up to what it once was. One of the areas the coronavirus affected was the spring market. This is the peak time in real estate and a lot of people were interrupted during that time during the pandemic.
Finnegan says that what they're seeing now is that the marketplace is picking up now and making up for lost time.
"What you're seeing is that the marketplace is catching up," he said. "A lot of that spring activity is coming to fruition here in the middle of the summer."
Anthony Fields, Market Research Analyst says that the sales growth (15 percent compared to the previous month) is remarkable when looking at prior trends.
"Over the past five years, July sales have declined 11 percent from June," Fields said. "So definitely the Baltimore real estate market is the hottest it's ever been."
One of the possible reasons for this? The emergence of technology used during the pandemic.
There was a period where people weren't leaving homes, yet properties were still being sold and that's thanks to virtual open houses and the ability for people to see online what was available.
"What we've seen is people are now much more comfortable buying a house based on what they've seen online," Finnegan explained. "We did some research recently and more than a quarter of our respondents said that they would be comfortable buying a house without ever stepping foot in it because they felt the quality of the virtual open houses was so strong."
Finnegan says that residential real estate technology is going to be a huge piece of the pie in the overall marketplace moving forward. He says that while it's not going anywhere any time soon, he doesn't believe that it's in place of traditional methods.
Technology isn't the only thing that has changed within the market during the pandemic, attitudes have as well.
Finnegan explains that there's a general desire more than ever for space, more rooms and education areas where they'll have the opportunity for in-home learning. A lot of these things weren't on the top of people's minds when looking for a home in previous years, but COVID has caused a change in people's minds.
"There is an emphasis on properties that have more rooms, so you can get privacy if you're at home, as opposed to a lot of the open space that traditionally has been very popular," Finnegan said.
You're also seeing a desire for one or more home offices as people are having to not only work from home, but teach their kids from home as well.
Overall, the momentum from June to July is an extremely positive sign for the marketplace in general, both for those buying homes and selling homes in the Baltimore region.
"Our assumption and our hypothesis was that we were going to have the delayed spring effect over summer and then into fall and that's what we're seeing come to fruition," Finnegan said. "We're certainly knocking on wood that these trends continue. But I think that if you're looking to buy or you're looking to sell in the Baltimore area, you can feel comfortable knowing that the marketplace is in a good spot for you to do so."