Baltimore area home sales rebound in September

Posted on October 11, 2019 by Corey Hart



Baltimore Metro median sales price of $287,750 at September high; Sales rebound strongly; Inventories are tight

Rockville, MD – (October 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 September 2019 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of $287,750 is, by far, the highest September level of the decade.  Prices rose 6.6% over last September.
  • Sales volume of slightly more than $1.0 billion was up 15.5% from last year.
  • Closed sales of 3,172 were up a significant 13.9% compared to last year, a good sign after mostly negative numbers over the past year.
  • New pending sales of 3,691 were also up this month, 13.5% more than last September.
  • New listings increased by 3.9% to 4,860, a bit of a recovery from the last three months in a row of declines in new listings.
  • There were 10,162 active listings at the end of September, down 4.6% from last year.  This is the third month in a row of declining inventories, after nine straight months of gains.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale was 96.4%, the same as last September.


  • September’s overall regional median sales price of $287,750 was the highest September price of the decade.  Prices were up 6.6% or $17,750 from last year but were down a seasonal 0.7% or $2,150 from last month.
  • Townhomes had the highest price appreciation, up 7.4% to $220,250, condo prices were up 3.5% to $220,000, and single-family detached prices were up 2.9% to $360,000.
  • Prices are well above the 5-year average of $259,884 and the 10-year average of $248,572.
  • Prices are 27.0% above the September 2011 low of $226,600.
  • Howard County continues to have the highest prices in the region, with a September median sales price of $425,250, almost the same as last year.
  • Baltimore City remains the most affordable area, with a September median sales price of $145,000, up 6.2% from last year.
  • Prices went up in all areas of the metro, with the largest percentage gain in Harford County (+14.4% to $270,000), followed by Baltimore County (+10.1% to $256,300), Baltimore City (+6.2% to $145,000), Carroll County (+3.1% to $335,000), Anne Arundel County (+1.8% to $350,000) and Howard County (+0.1% to $425,250).
  • For the year-to-date, regional prices are up 4.1% to $281,000.


  • Closed sales compared to last year were up a significant 13.9% to 3,172, bucking the trend of declining year-over-year sales seen over most of the last year.  This was the largest year-over-year gain since March of 2017.  Sales were down a seasonal 15.7% from last month.
  • Single-family detached closed sales were up 16.7% to 1,666, while townhome closed sales rose by 16.4% to 1,214.  However, condo sales slid 7.3% to 292.
  • September sales are above both the 5-year average of 3,050 and the 10-year average of 2,595.
  • September sales were 71.6% above the trough of 1,848 seen in September 2010.
  • Sales activity across the region was mostly up, with only Howard County (-0.9% to 351) showing a decline.  Anne Arundel saw the largest percentage gain (+26.7% to 841), while Carroll County saw the smallest (+5.3% to 200).
  • For the year-to-date, closed sales across the region are up 1.7% to 30,992.


  • New pending sales of 3,691 were up 13.5% compared to last year and were at the highest September level of the decade.  They were down a seasonal 6.7% from last month.
  • Pending sales of condos were up 14.9% to 363, single-family detached pending sales were up 13.8% to 1,955 and townhome pending sales were up 12.5% to 1,370.
  • Pending contracts are handily above the 5-year average of 3,491 and the 10-year average of 2,913.
  • The number of new pending contracts in September was slightly more than double the 10-year market low of 1,789 seen in September 2010.
  • Across the region, new pending sales were mostly up, with the largest percentage gain in Howard County (+27.6% to 407) and the smallest gain in Baltimore County (+4.1% to 962).  Carroll County (-5.4% to 194) was the only area that showed a decline.


  • New listings were up 3.9% compared to last year to 4,860, the first year-over-year gain in four months.  They were down a seasonal 4.9% over last month.
  • New townhome listings were up 6.0% to 1,877, while new condo listings were up 2.9% to 432 and new single-family detached listings were up 2.6% to 2,549.
  • New listings are above both the 5-year average of 4,809 and the 10-year average of 4,333.
  • The number of new September listings exceeded the 2012 market low of 3,233 by 50.3%.
  • New listing activity across the region was mostly up, with only Baltimore County (-0.9% to 1,264) and Howard County (-3.6% to 483) seeing declines in new listings.  The largest percentage increase in new listings was in Harford County (+13.7% to 466) and the smallest was in Anne Arundel County (+2.4% to 1,065).
  • For the year-to-date, new listings are up a slight 0.7% to 46,589.


  • Active inventories compared to last year declined by 4.6% to 10,162, but they were up 1.6% from last month.  This is easily the lowest September level of the decade and is the third month in a row, after nine months of increases, that year-over-year inventories have declined.
  • Compared to last year, condo inventories were down 7.2% to 796, single-family detached inventories were down 5.5% to 5,689, and inventories of townhomes were down 2.7% to 3,672.
  • Inventories remain well below both the 5-yr average of 11,729 and the 10-yr average of 13,168.
  • September inventories are 46.6% below the peak level of 19,028 seen in 2010.  Last year’s 10,656 had been the lowest September inventory level until this month.
  • Inventory levels are up in Carroll County (+8.2% to 622) and in Baltimore City (+1.1% to 3,195), but they are down elsewhere, with the smallest percentage decline in Baltimore County (-3.8% to 2,416) and the largest in Howard County (-12.8% to 860).


  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for September was 96.4%, the same as last year but down just slightly from last month’s 96.6%.
  • Condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.9%, while single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.4% and townhomes have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.3%.
  • This September’s SP to OLP ratio remains well above both the 5-year average of 95.3% and the 10-year average of 93.6%.
  • Over the last ten years, the lowest September average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2011 when it was 88.5%.  The 96.4% recorded this month and last September is the highest of the decade.
  • Howard County had the highest SP to OLP ratio at 98.1%, up from last year’s 97.2%.
  • The lowest SP to OLP ratio is in Baltimore City, where it is 94.2%, up from last year’s 93.9%.
  • Only Baltimore County (dropping from 96.8% to 96.1%) and Harford County (dropping from 98.1% to 97.2%) saw declines in SP to OLP ratio compared to last year.
  • For the year-to-date, the regional SP to OLP ratio is 96.6%, down from 97.2% for the same period 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 95,000 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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