Baltimore area home sales dip again in March as prices hit record levels

Posted on April 11, 2019 by Corey Hart



Baltimore Metro median sales price of $264,000 at new March record; Sales decline for seventh straight month; Inventories remain very low

Rockville, MD – (April 11, 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 March 2019 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price set a new March record, rising 1.9% to $264,000 compared to last year.  Generally, prices have increased since December of 2015.
  • Sales volume of nearly $850 million was down 6.5% from last year.
  • With 2,838 closed sales, a decline of 7.9% compared to last year, year-over-year closed sales have now decreased for seven consecutive months. 
  • However, new pending sales of 4,410 rose by 4.5% compared to last year.
  • New listings increased by 1.5% to 5,661, a rebound from the slight decline seen last month.
  • The 8,593 active listings at the end of March were up slightly (+1.0%) from last year’s levels, but inventory levels remain well below historic averages, keeping upward pressure on prices. 
  • The March average percentage of original list price received at sale was 95.9%, a slight decline from last year’s 96.0%.


  • March’s overall regional median sales price of $264,000 was, by far, the highest March price of the decade.  Prices were up 1.9% or $5,000 from last year and were also up 5.8% or $14,550 from last month.
  • Townhome prices were up 2.8% to $210,750, condo prices were up 2.2% to $205,000, and single-family detached home prices were up 1.5% to $329,900.
  • Prices remain well above the 5-year average of $247,085 and the 10-year average of $233,143.
  • Prices are 32% above the March 2011 low of $200,000.
  • Howard County continues to have the highest prices in the region, with a March median sales price of $390,000, a slight 0.9% increase over last year.
  • Baltimore City remains the most affordable area, with a March median sales price of $143,000, up 0.4% from last year.
  • Elsewhere, Anne Arundel saw the largest percentage gain in prices (+2.8% to $335,000), followed by Baltimore County (+2.1% to $245,000).  Prices in Harford County were flat at $245,000 and they declined in Carroll County (-4.4% to $306,000).
  • For the year-to-date, regional prices are up 1.9% to $253,000.


  • March’s closed sales of 2,838 were down 7.9% compared to last year, making this the seventh consecutive month of declining year-over-year closed sales.  Sales were up a seasonal 38.5% from last month.
  • All property types were again down compared to last year, with single-family detached sales down 2.6% to 1,509, townhome sales down 12.9% to 1,044 and condo sales down 14.7% to 285. 
  • March sales are below the 5-year average of 2,911 but are above the 10-year average of 2,428.
  • March sales were 52.4% more than the trough of 1,862 seen in March 2011 but are 13.7% below the peak March level of 3,288 seen in 2017.
  • Sales activity across the region was mostly down, with only Harford County seeing an increase in closed sales (+6.3% to 319).  The smallest percentage decline was in Anne Arundel County (-0.2% to 676), followed by Baltimore County (-6.9% to 745), Carroll County (-8.8% to 176), Howard County (-11.2% to 302) and Baltimore City (-19.6% to 620).
  • For the year-to-date, sales are down 5.1% to 7,354.


  • The 4,410 new pending sales in March were up 4.5% compared to last year, pleasant news after the eight prior months of declining Y-o-Y new pending sales.  New pending sales were also up a seasonal 32.9% compared to last month.
  • Pending sales of single-family detached homes were up 2.2% to 2,273, condo pending sales were up 6.4% to 433 and townhome pending sales were up 7.1% to 1,704.
  • Pending contracts are above the 5-year average of 4,346 and the 10-year average of 3,695.
  • The number of new pending contracts in March was 59.3% more than the 10-year market low of 2,769 seen in March 2010 and was 5.9% below the March 2017 peak of 4,685.
  • New pending sales across the region were up except in Baltimore County which was flat at 1,122.  Howard County had the largest percentage increase in new pending sales (+14.8% to 498), followed by Baltimore City (+5.9% to 1,026), Anne Arundel County (+5.2% to 1,074), Carroll County (+2.3% to 267) and Harford County (+2.2% to 423).


  • There were 5,661 new listings in March, a 1.5% increase over last year and a seasonal 42.8% increase over last month.    
  • New single-family detached listings increased 2.3% to 3,034, and new townhome listings rose 2.0% to 2,138, but new condo listings decreased 4.9% to 487.
  • New listings exceed the 5-year average of 5,626 and the 10-year average of 5,151.
  • The number of new March listings exceeded the 2013 market low of 4,132 by 37.0% but are 6.1% below the 2016 peak of 6,030.  
  • New listing activity across the region was mixed, with the largest percentage gain in Harford County (+14.5% to 537) and the smallest percentage gain in Anne Arundel County (+0.7% to 1,391).  Baltimore City (-1.9% to 1,405) and Carroll County (-13.3% to 313) both saw declines.
  • For the year-to-date, new listings are up 2.5% to 13,336.


  • The 8,593 active listings at the end of March were up 1.0% from last year and up 6.2% from last month.  This is the sixth consecutive month of increases in year-over-year inventories.
  • Year-over-year single-family detached inventories were up 5.8% to 4,796, but townhome inventories were down 3.8% to 3,092 and condo inventories were down 7.8% to 699.
  • Inventories remain well below both the 5-yr average of 9,859 and the 10-yr average of 11,419.
  • March inventories are 47.3% below the peak level of 16,312 seen in 2010.  Last year’s 8,507 is the lowest March inventory level of the decade.
  • Inventory levels rose everywhere except in Baltimore City, where they declined by 0.7% to 2,806 and in Carroll County, where they declined 5.5% to 449.  Howard County saw the largest percentage gain in active inventories (+5.7% to 688), followed by Anne Arundel County (+4.1% to 2,042), Baltimore County (+0.7% to 1,939) and Harford County (+0.2% to 669).


  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for March was 95.9%, down from last year’s 96.0%, but up from last month’s 94.9%. 
  • Condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 97.0%, while single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 95.9% and townhomes have a SP to OLP ratio of 95.7%.
  • This March’s SP to OLP ratio remains well above both the 5-year average of 94.6% and the 10-year average of 92.5%.
  • 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 high was last March’s 96.0%.
  • Howard County had the highest SP to OLP ratio in the region at 97.7%, down from last year’s 97.9%.
  • The lowest SP to OLP ratio continues to be in Baltimore City, where it was 93.0%, down from last year’s 93.8%.
  • For the year-to-date, the regional SP to OLP ratio is at 96.0%, up from last year’s 95.9%.  


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

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


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