The Howard County housing market saw a 21.1 percent decrease in home sales last year, according to the Howard County Association of REALTORS, which recently released its 2022 Housing Report and Economic Forecast.

According to HCAR, in 2022, REALTORS in the Howard County metro area sold 4,231 homes (down 21.1 percent from 2021) worth a total of $2.4 billion (down 15.5 percent from 2021). The county’s overall median sales price for 2022 was $520,000, up 8.3 percent from 2021. Fulton, in particular, saw notable year-over-year increases, coming in at a median sales price of $930,000, which is a 26 percent increase from 2021.

Howard County saw 4,832 new listings come to the market in 2022, down 17.8 percent from 2020. Elkridge, for example, saw new listings (530) decline 18.1 percent from 2021.

Compared to five years ago, the average sale price of a home in Howard County saw a 32 percent increase to $590,457. The sold dollar volume increased 15.7 percent, units sold decreased 12.8 percent, and the average days on market for units sold decreased 68 percent.

According to Freddie Mac, 2022 closed out with a 6.42 percent mortgage interest rate on a 30-year loan. Comparatively, 2017 closed out with a 3.99 percent mortgage interest rate on a 30-year loan.

In the coming year, the viability of the local real estate market will largely depend on inflation ― which directly influences the mortgage interest rate and overall affordability ― and inventory availability. HCAR supports policy designed to address the housing shortage, particularly the shortage of middle-income housing.

HCAR’s local housing statistics are pulled from the Bright Multiple Listing Service. The Bright MLS service area includes Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.