Baltimore area housing market finishes 2016 with another strong month

Posted on January 11, 2017 by Corey Hart



Median sales price rises 4.3% to $245,000, best December level since 2008; Sales levels rise 5% to new December peak for decade; Inventories fall below 10,000 for the first time since January 2014.

Rockville, MD – (January 11, 2016) – 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 December MRIS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of $245,000 was up 4.3% or $10,000 from last year and at the highest December level since 2008. 
  • Sales volume across the Baltimore Metro area was up 9.7% from last year to $916.6 million.
  • This was the highest level of December sales in a decade.  December closed sales of 3,196 were up 5.0% compared to last year.
  • The 2,630 new pending contracts recorded in December were down 3.7% compared to last year. 
  • The number of new listings dropped 3.9% to 2,651 compared to last year.
  • The number of active listings declined by 17.3% to 9,599, the 16th consecutive month of declining year-over-year inventory levels.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale in December was 94.8%, the highest December level in a decade.
  • The median days-on-market was 42 days, down from 47 days last year, and the lowest level in a decade.


  • The overall regional median sales price for December 2016 of $245,000 is up $10,000 or 4.3% from last year, and up 2.1% or $5,000 from last month.  This is the 13th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases. 
  • Compared to last year, townhome prices were up 7.1% to $185,000, single-family detached prices were up 3.4% to $300,000 and condo prices were up 1.7% to $202,000.
  • Prices are above the 5-year average of $235,815 and the 10-year average of $236,198.
  • December prices are 11.4% above the 2011 bottom of $219,900, and 5.8% below the peak of $260,000 seen in 2007.
  • Carroll County saw the highest median price percentage increase in the region with December prices up 17.3% to $299,900.
  • Baltimore City is the most affordable locale with a median sales price of $125,000, up 4.2%.
  • Howard County continues to be the most expensive area in the region, with a December median sales price of $397,500, which is a 4.6% increase compared to last year. 
  • The 2016 regional median price of $250,000 is up 4.2% compared to last year.  For the year, all jurisdictions except Howard County (-0.2%) show price increases, with the largest in Baltimore City (+18.1%).


  • December sales of 3,196 were up 5.0% compared to last year, and up 11.6% compared to last month. This is the highest level of December sales in a decade.
  • Compared to last year, condo sales were up 12.5% to 323, single-family detached sales were up 7.0% to 1,750, while townhome sales were up 0.3% to 1,123. 
  • Sales were above the 5-year average of 2,618 and the 10-year December average of 2,181.
  • Sales were 107.0% higher than the 2008 low of 1,544.
  • All jurisdictions saw year-over-year growth in the number of closed sales, with the largest in Carroll County (+14.2%) and the smallest in Baltimore County (+1%). 
  • 2016 sales of 39,582 are up 10.1% compared to last year.


  • December 2016 pending sales of 2,630 decreased 3.7% compared to last year, and were down 20.7% compared to last month.    
  • Only condos saw an increase in the number of pending sales compared to last year, with an increase of 5.9% to 270.  Single-family detached decreased 5.8% to 1,358, and townhomes decreased 3.2% to 1,002.
  • Pending contracts are above the 5-year average of 2,279 and the 10-year average of 1,865.
  • The number of new pending contracts in December was 128.5% more than the 10-year market low of 1,151 seen in 2008, but were down 3.7% compared to the decade high of 2,732 seen in 2015.
  • Across the entire Baltimore region for all of 2016, pending contracts of 46,402 were 5.9% more than last year.


  • The 2,651 new listings added in December in the Baltimore Metro area represented a 3.9% decrease over last year.  Compared to last month, new listings saw a normal seasonal decline of 24.6%. 
  • Only condos saw an increase in the number of new listings, a 2.3% increase to 268.  The number of new single-family detached listings declined by 2.0% to 1,347 and the number of townhome new listings declined 7.5% to 1,036.
  • New listings are above the 5-year average of 2,393 and the 10-year average of 2,368.
  • The number of new listings in December was up 45.8% compared to the market low of 1,818 in 2012, and was 3.9% below the 2015 high of 2,758.
  • Across the region, new listings in 2016 were up 0.7% to 56,395 compared to last year.


  • Active inventories dropped by 17.3% to 9,599 compared to last year and were down 12.0% compared to last month. Overall inventory levels have declined for 16 consecutive months and are at the lowest December level in a decade.
  • Single-family detached inventories were down 19.2% compared to last year to 5,290, condos down 14.9% to 895, and townhomes down 14.8% to 3,414.
  • Inventories are below the 5-yr average of 10,651 and well below the 10-yr average of 13,248.
  • December inventories are 45.2% below the decade high of 17,526 seen in December of 2008, and are 0.8% below the previous December low of 9,674 seen in 2012.
  • All jurisdictions in the region continue to show declines in active inventories, with the largest percentage decline of 24.3% in Carroll County to 618 active listings, and the smallest decline in Baltimore City of 12.2% to 2,810 active listings.


  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for December was 94.8%, up significantly from last year’s 92.7% and also up from last month’s 94.4%.  This was the highest December level in a decade.
  • Condos have the highest SP to OLP ratio, at 95.3%.  Townhomes typically sell at 95.2% of their listing price, and single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 94.5%.
  • The December SP to OLP ratio is well above both the 5-year average of 92.9% and the 10-year average of 91.2%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest December average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2010, where it was 87.9%; the previous high was in 2013 where it was 93.1%.
  • Homes in Howard County sold at 96.9% of their original listing price in December, which continues to be the highest in the region, and above last year’s 95.4%.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Baltimore City, where it was 93.3%, up from last year’s 89.5%. 
  • All jurisdictions showed increases in SP to OLP for 2016 compared to last year, and the regional 2016 SP to OLP ratio of 94.9% was up from 2015’s 93.7%.


  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in December in the Baltimore Metro region was 42 days, down five days from last year and up 2 days from last month.
  • This month, single-family detached homes had a median DOM of 44 and townhomes and condos had a median DOM of 40.
  • December’s median DOM of 42 days is below both the 5-year average of 49 days and the 10-year average of 65 days.
  • This December’s median DOM was 58 days less than the peak DOM of 100 days in December 2008 and was the lowest December level in a decade.
  • Homes in Howard County sell fastest, with a median DOM of 36, down from 42 days last year.
  • Harford County had the highest median DOM of 50 days, down from 51 days last year.
  • For 2016, all jurisdictions saw decreases in the median DOM, and for the overall region, the 2016 median DOM is 37 days compared to 43 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 MRIS.

About MRIS

MRIS is a leading provider of real estate information technology and one of the nation’s leading multiple listing services (MLS), facilitating nearly $51 billion in system wide sales in 2015. The company supports over 45,000 real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Maryland, Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C. and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia. MRIS provides its customers with a portfolio of best-in-class desktop, mobile and cloud-based technologies to improve the real estate transaction process for both real estate professionals and homebuyers and sellers. For more information, please visit or to search for thousands of available homes in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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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