Baltimore area home sales decline for sixth consecutive month in February

Posted on March 12, 2019 by Corey Hart
12

Mar

2019

Baltimore Metro median sales price of $249,450 at new February record; Sales decline by 9 percent; Inventories continue to rise slightly

Rockville, MD – (March 12, 2019) – 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 February 2019 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report

OVERVIEW

  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price rose 1.8% to $249,450 compared to last year and was easily at the highest February price level of the decade.  Prices in the Baltimore Metro area have generally increased since December of 2015.
  • Sales volume of more than $570 million was down 9.0% from last year.
  • Year-over-year closed sales continue to decline for the sixth consecutive month.  February’s 2,049 sales were down 9.0% compared to last year.
  • There were 3,318 new pending sales at the end of February, down 2.8% from last year.
  • New listings decreased by a slight 0.7% to 3,964, the first time since September 2018 that year-over-year listings have declined.
  • There were 8,091 active listings at the end of February, up 3.8% from last year and the fourth month in a row that inventory levels have increased by at least 3.0%.  However, inventory levels remain well below the 5- and 10-year averages.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale in February was 94.9%, a decline from last year’s 95.2%.


 

  • February’s overall regional median sales price of $249,450 was the highest February price of the decade.  Prices were up 1.8% or $4,450 from last year and were down just a slight 0.2% or $450 from last month.
  • Condo prices were up 4.5% to $209,000 and townhome prices were up 2.8% to $184,950, while single-family detached home prices were almost flat at $309,950.
  • Prices remain well above the 5-year average of $234,890 and the 10-year average of $225,480.
  • Prices are 21.5% above the February 2011 low of $205,350.
  • Howard County continues to have the highest prices in the region, with a February median sales price of $352,000, although that was an 8.0% decrease over last year’s $382,500 and Howard County is the only area in the region where prices declined.
  • Baltimore City remains the most affordable area, with a February median sales price of $120,000. Prices were up 10.5% from last February’s $108,575, making this the largest percentage gain in the region.
  • Elsewhere, Baltimore County (+1.8% to $229,999), Harford County (+1.6% to $230,000), and Carroll County (+1.0% to $300,000) all showed gains, while prices in Anne Arundel County were flat at $325,000.
  • For the year-to-date, regional prices are up 3.3% to $248,000.


 

  • February’s closed sales of 2,049 were down 9.0% compared to last year but were up 5.2% from last month.  This was the sixth consecutive month of declining year-over-year closed sales.
  • All property types were again down compared to last year, with townhome sales down 4.3% to 839, single-family detached sales down 12.0% to 1,002 and condo sales down 12.2% to 208. 
  • February sales are below the 5-year average of 2,124 but are above the 10-year average of 1,769.
  • February sales were 61.7% more than the trough of 1,267 seen in February 2010.
  • All areas in the region saw significant decreases in closed sales, with the smallest percentage decline in Harford County (-3.8% to 201), followed by Baltimore County (-5.3% to 589), Howard County (-8.2% to 201), Anne Arundel (-9.9% to 476) and Baltimore City (-12.0% to 493).  Carroll County (-21.9% to 89) had the largest percentage decline in sales compared to last year.
  • For the year-to-date, sales are down 6.9% to 4,244.


 

  • There were 3,318 new pending sales in February, down 2.8% compared to last year, but up a seasonal 5.7% compared to last month.  This is the eighth consecutive month of declining year-over-year pending sales.
  • Pending sales of single-family detached homes were down 1.4% to 1,678, townhome pending sales were down 1.7% to 1,336 and condo pending sales declined 14.1% to 304.
  • Pending contracts are below the 5-year average of 3,366 but above the 10-year average of 2,811.
  • The number of new pending contracts in February was almost double the 10-year market low of 1,715 seen in February 2010 and was 6.2% below the February 2017 peak of 3,538.
  • Anne Arundel County saw the only gain in new pending sales (+1.2% to 791.  Pending sales in Carroll County were flat at 202.  The smallest percentage decline in new pending sales was in Harford County (-3.6% to 323).  Baltimore City and Howard County both saw 3.9% declines to 857 and 320, respectively.  Baltimore County was down -5.2% to 825.


 

  • February’s new listings of 3,964 were down a slight 0.7% compared to last year and were up a seasonal 7.6% compared to last month.  
  • New single-family detached listings increased 1.3% to 2,012, while new townhome listings were down 0.1% to 1,612, and new condo listings decreased 12.9% to 339.
  • New listings exceed the 5-year average of 3,911 and the 10-year average of 3,523.
  • The number of new February listings exceeded the 2010 market low of 2,912 by 36.1% but are 2.0% below the 2017 peak of 4,045.  
  • New listing activity across the region was mixed, with the largest percentage gain in Harford County (+4.8% to 368) and the smallest percentage gain in Anne Arundel County (+1.5% to 895).  The smallest percentage decline was in Howard County (-4.2% to 386) and the largest was in Carroll County (-8.6% to 212).


 

  • There were 8,091 active listings at the end of February, up 3.8% from last year and virtually the same as last month.
  • Year-over-year single-family detached inventories were up 6.8% to 4,424, while townhome inventories were up a slight 0.3% to 2,964.  Condo inventories were down 0.1% to 693.
  • Inventories remain well below both the 5-yr average of 9,314 and the 10-yr average of 10,869.
  • February inventories are 48.5% below the peak level of 15,706 seen in 2011.  Last year’s 7,794 is the lowest February inventory level of the decade.
  • Inventory levels rose everywhere except in Harford County, where they declined by 11.1% to 611 and in Baltimore County, where they were flat at 1,805.  Anne Arundel County saw the largest percentage gain in active inventories (+10.0% to 1,895), followed by Howard County (+9.5% to 635), Carroll County (+5.2% to 442) and Baltimore City (+4.8% to 2,703).


 

  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for February was 94.9%, down from last year’s 95.2%, but up slightly from last month’s 94.4%. 
  • Condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 95.5%, while single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 95.0% and townhomes have a SP to OLP ratio of 94.5%.
  • This February’s SP to OLP ratio remains well above both the 5-year average of 93.7% and the 10-year average of 91.7%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest February average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2011 when it was 86.5%, and the high was last February’s 95.2%.
  • Carroll County had the highest SP to OLP ratio in the region at 97.3%, up significantly from last year’s 95.3%.
  • The lowest SP to OLP was in Baltimore City, where it was 91.5%, down from last year’s 91.9%.
  • For the year-to-date, the regional SP to OLP ratio is down to 95.3% from last year’s 95.6%. 


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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