Baltimore area contract activity in March down from 2017 levels for third straight month

Posted on April 10, 2018 by Corey Hart
10

Apr

2018

Median sales price of $259,000 is at highest March level of the past decade; Year-over-year closed and new pending sales decline; Inventories hover near record lows

Rockville, MD – (April 10, 2018) – The following analysis of the Baltimore Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of MarketStats by ShowingTime and is based on March 2018 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report

OVERVIEW

  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of $259,000 was up 5.7% or $14,000 from last year’s $245,000 and was at the highest March level of the decade.
  • Sales volume of slightly more than $905 million was down 2.0% from last year.
  • March closed sales of 3,081 were down 6.3% compared to last year, and new contract activity of 4,221 was down 9.9% from last year.  
  • The 5,577 new listings in March were down 6.3% from last year but up 39.7% from last month.
  • Active listings declined by 10.0% to 8,507.   This is the 31st consecutive month of declining year-over-year inventory levels and was, by far, the lowest March level in a decade.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale in March was 96.0%, the highest March level of the last ten years and up significantly from last year’s 95.1% and last month’s 95.2%.
  • The median days-on-market was 35 days, the lowest March level of the last 10 years.  It was down seven days compared to last year and down six days from last month.


 

  • The March overall regional median sales price of $259,000 is up 5.7% or $14,000 from both last year and last month.  This was easily the highest March price of the decade, and year-over-year prices have generally increased for the last two years.
  • Compared to last year, townhome prices were up 8.5% to $205,000, single-family detached prices were up 6.0% to $325,000, while condo prices were down 4.5% to $200,550.
  • Prices are above the 5-year average of $239,785 and the 10-year average of $230,243.
  • Prices are 29.5% above the March 2011 low of $200,000.
  • Howard County remains the most expensive area in the region, with a March median sales price of $386,500, a 0.9% decrease compared to last year and the only area showing a Y-o-Y decrease.
  • Baltimore City is still the most affordable area, with a March median sales price of $142,500.
  • Carroll County saw the largest percentage increase in price (+11.5% to $320,000), followed by Baltimore City (+10.3% to $142,500), Baltimore County (+9.8% to $239,900) and Anne Arundel (+6.9% to $326,000). Harford County saw the smallest percentage increase (+6.5% to $245,000).
  • For the year to date, regional median sales prices are up 3.9% to $248,250.


 

  • There were 3,081 closed sales in March, down 6.3% compared to last year but up a seasonal 36.8% from last month.  
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached sales were down 10.2% to 1,549 and condo sales were down 9.5% to 334.  Townhome sales were up a slight 0.3% to 1,198. 
  • March sales were well above the 5-year average of 2,753 and the 10-year average of 2,306.
  • March sales were 89.5% more than the 2009 low of 1,626.
  • Most jurisdictions saw fewer closed sales than last year, with Anne Arundel County experiencing the largest percentage decrease (-13.1% to 677), followed by Baltimore County (-11.3% to 800) and Howard County (-6.3% to 340).  Carroll County had the smallest (-0.5% to 193).
  • Baltimore City (+2.5% to 771) and Harford County (+0.7% to 300) were the only jurisdictions to see increases in sales.
  • For the year to date, regional closed sales are down 2.3% to 7,746.


 

  • There were 4,221 new pending sales in March, down 9.9% compared to last year but up a seasonal 23.6% compared to last month. 
  • For the first time since April 2017, pending sales were down for all types of properties, with condos showing the largest decline of 15.4% to 407.  The number of new pending sales of single-family detached homes saw the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year declines, dropping 11.4% to 2,223.  Townhome pending sales decreased 6.1% to 1,591.
  • Pending contracts are above the 5-year average of 4,110 and the 10-year average of 3,449.
  • The number of new pending contracts in March was 116.7% more than the 10-year market low seen in March 2009 of 1,948.
  • All jurisdictions saw declines in new pending sales, with Carroll County (-0.8% to 261) showing the smallest percentage decline and Howard County (-18.6% to 434) with the largest decline.


 

  • There were 5,577 new listings added in March, down 6.3% from last year, but up 39.7% compared to last month.  
  • While new townhome listings rose 1.5% to 2,096, new condo listings dropped 8.1% to 512 and single-family detached listings decreased 10.9% to 2,967.
  • New listings are above both the 5-year average of 5,388 and the 10-year average of 5,032.
  • The number of new March listings was up 35.0% compared to the 2013 market low of 4,132.
  • Across the region, new listings increased in Baltimore City (+3.4% to 1,432) and in Carroll County, (+ 1.1% to 361).  Anne Arundel saw the smallest decline in new listings (-1.5% to 1,382) and Howard County saw the largest decline of 21.1% to 575.
  • For the year to date, new listings across the region are down 4.5% to 13,015.


 

  • Inventories of 8,507 dropped by 10.0% compared to last year but were up 9.1% from last month.   Year-over-year inventory levels have declined for 31 consecutive months, with double-digit declines for 21 consecutive months.
  • Single-family detached inventories were down 15.9% to 4,531 and condo inventories were down 13.5% to 758.  Townhome inventories were up a slight 0.7% to 3,215.
  • Inventories are well below both the 5-yr average of 10,272 and the 10-yr average of 12,289.
  • March inventories are less than half the 17,289 seen in 2009.
  • Only Baltimore City saw an increase in active listings, up 4.6% to 2,826.  All other jurisdictions in the region showed declines in inventories during March, with the smallest percentage decline of 9.6% in Anne Arundel County to 1,961 active listings, and the largest percentage decline of 27.9% in Harford County to 668 active listings.


 

  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for March was 96.0%, up significantly from last year’s 95.1%.  The SP to OLP ratio this month was also up from last month’s 95.2% and was easily the highest March level in a decade.
  • Both townhomes and single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 95.9%.  Condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.6%.
  • The March SP to OLP ratio is well above both the 5-year average of 94.0% and the 10-year average of 91.7%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest March average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2011 when it was 86.0%, and the previous high was last March’s 95.1%.
  • The highest SP to OLP ratio is in Howard County, where homes sold at 97.9% of their original listing price in March, up from last year’s 97.5%.
  • The lowest SP to OLP ratio is in Baltimore City, where it was 93.8%, up from last year’s 92.2%, the largest year-over-year gain in the region.
  • Carroll County is the only jurisdiction where the SP to OLP ratio dropped this month (-1.0% to 95.5%).
  • For the year to date, SP to OLP of 95.9% is up from last year’s 94.8%.

 


 

  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in March in the Baltimore Metro region was 35 days, down seven days from last year and down six days from last month. This is easily the lowest March DOM of the last decade.
  • Townhomes and condos both have a median DOM of 28, while single-family detached have a median DOM of 42.
  • March’s median DOM of 35 days is well below both the 5-year average of 54 days and the 10-year average of 70 days.
  • March’s median DOM of 35 days is less than one-third of the peak DOM of 111 days in March 2009.
  • Carroll County had the highest median DOM of 47 days, up from 38 days last year.
  • Howard County had the lowest median DOM in the region of 21 days, down from 33 days last year.
  • For the year-to-date across the region, median DOM is 38 days, down from 47 days last year.


 

About the Baltimore Metro Housing Market Update

The Baltimore Metro Area Housing Market Update provides unique insights into the state of the current housing market by measuring the number of new pending sales, trends by home characteristics, and key indicators through the most recent month compiled directly from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data in ShowingTime’s proprietary database. The Baltimore Metro Area housing market includes the City of Baltimore, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County in Maryland. Data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

About Bright MLS

The Bright MLS real estate service area spans 40,000 square miles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. As a leading Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Bright serves approximately 85,000 real estate professionals who in turn serve over 20 million consumers. For more information, please visit www.brightmls.com.

About Elliot Eisenberg

Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is the Chief Economist of GraphsandLaughs, LLC, a firm specializing in economic consulting and data analysis.  He is a frequent speaker on topics including: economic forecasts, economic impact of industries such as homebuilding and tourism, consequences of government regulation, economic development and other current economic issues. Dr. Eisenberg earned a B.A. in economics with first class honors from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a Masters and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. Eisenberg was formerly a Senior Economist with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.   He is a regularly featured guest on cable news programs, talk and public radio, writes a syndicated column and authors a daily 70 word commentary on the economy that is available at www.econ70.com.

 

baltimore metro, market analysis, press release
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