Trade-up buyers are returning to the Anne Arundel County realty market, but many homes priced over the $400,000 mark are still tough to sell there, says Patricia Savani, manager of Champion Realty's Annapolis office.
"The market isn't hot, but it's warm and that's a whole lot better pTC than ice-cold like it was last year," Ms. Savani says.
She breaks the current Anne Arundel market into four categories based on price:
* Homes in the $100,000 to $150,000 range.
These are the properties most in demand in Anne Arundel, with buyers for this price segment having returned to the Anne Arundel market in early February, Ms. Savani says.
Properties in this category include three-bedroom, detached homes in Glen Burnie or three-bedroom town house units in Annapolis.
* Homes in the $150,000 to $250,000 range.
Sold mainly to trade-up buyers, demand for these properties came back in late February, Ms. Savani says.
Properties in this category include three-bedroom colonials in Severna Park, Pasadena, Edgewater or Mayo.
* Homes in the $250,000 to $400,000 range.
Sales on these so-called "executive homes" gradually began picking up in early March, Ms. Savani says.
Properties in this category include four-bedroom contemporary and traditional homes in Severna Park or Annapolis.
* Homes over $400,000.
The market for these properties has yet to rebound, Ms. Savani says.
She blames out-of-county developers -- especially those from Washington -- with creating an oversupply of enormous houses in this price segment.
The sales outlook for homes selling above $400,000 that lack access to water or a water view is particularly poor right now, Ms. Savani allows. "Most of the high rollers that come here, come for the water," she says.
At RE/MAX Realty in Severna Park, Herb Chisholm, a sales associate, agrees with Ms. Savani's view that the upper-end Anne Arundel market remains slow. "There's an oversupply of inventory in that category that hasn't been bought off," he says.