Baltimore area inventories continue to shrink as August prices gain again

Posted on September 11, 2019 by Corey Hart



Baltimore Metro median sales prices at record August level of $289,900; Sales weaken slightly

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

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of $289,900, while slipping a bit from the last two months of record-setting highs, still gained 3.5% over prices seen last August.
  • However, sales volume of around $1.2 billion was down 1.5% from last year.
  • Closed sales of 3,764 were down 2.8% compared to last year. Year-over-year closed sales have declined for 11 out of the past 12 months.
  • New pending sales, however, rose by 5.0% compared to last year, to 3,958.
  • New listings declined by 3.3% to 5,109, the third month in a row that year-over-year new listings have declined.
  • As a result, there were 9,999 active listings at the end of August, down 4.2% from last year.  This is the second month in a row of declining inventories, after nine straight months of gains.
  • The August average percentage of original list price received at sale was 96.6%, up from last year’s 96.2%.


  • August’s overall regional median sales price of $289,900 was the highest August price of the decade.  Prices were up 3.5% or $9,900 from last year but were down a seasonal 3.3% or $10,000 from last month.
  • Townhome prices were up 5.7% to $224,000, single-family detached prices were up 1.4% to $365,000, and condo prices were up just 0.9% to $215,000.
  • Prices are well above the 5-year average of $267,980 and the 10-year average of $255,680.
  • Prices are 23.4% above the August 2011 low of $235,000.
  • Howard County continues to have the highest prices in the region, with an August median sales price of $435,000, down 1.1% from last year.
  • Baltimore City remains the most affordable area, with an August median sales price of $151,000, down 4.4% from last year, the largest percentage loss in the region.
  • Prices went up in all other jurisdictions in the region, except for in Anne Arundel, where they were flat at $350,000.  Carroll County saw the largest gain (+3.4% to $336,000), followed by Baltimore County (+3.0% to $260,000) and Harford County (+2.8% to $273,000).
  • For the year-to-date, regional prices are up 3.9% to $280,000.


  • Closed sales of 3,764 were down 2.8%, returning to the trend of declining year-over-year sales seen over the last year except for a small rise last month.  Sales were down 3.8% from last month.
  • While townhome closed sales rose by 3.4% to 1,407, single-family detached sales were down 2.3% to 2,023, and condo sales were down 24.5% to 333. 
  • August sales are above both the 5-year average of 3,701 and the 10-year average of 3,052.
  • August sales were nearly double the trough of 1,925 seen in August 2010.
  • Sales activity across the region was mostly down, with only Howard County (+5.5% to 461) and Anne Arundel County (+0.2% to 907) posting gains.  Harford County (-1.0% to 387), Carroll County (-3.4% to 254), Baltimore County (-5.1% to 986) and Baltimore City (-8.1% to 769) all showed fewer sales this August compared to last year.
  • For the year-to-date, closed sales across the region are virtually flat at 27,569.


  • This month new pending sales were up 5.0% compared to last year, to 3,958, but were down a seasonal 10.0% compared to last month. This was the highest August level of the decade.
  • Pending sales of single-family detached homes were up 7.9% to 2,129 and townhome pending sales were up 7.8% to 1,504, but condo pending sales were down 19.6% to 324.
  • Pending contracts are above the 5-year average of 3,809 and the 10-year average of 3,214.
  • The number of new pending contracts in August was 111.1% more than the 10-year market low of 1,875 seen in August 2010.
  • Across the region, new pending sales were mostly up, with the largest percentage gain in Harford County (+11.3% to 405) and the smallest gain in Baltimore County (+5.1% to 1,025).  Howard County (-7.6% to 402) and Carroll County (-8.3% to 221) were the only areas that posted declines.


  • August’s new listings were down 3.3% compared to last year to 5,109.  This was just a 0.2% decline over last month, but new listings have now declined for three months in a row.
  • New townhome listings were down just 0.5% to 2,045, while new single-family detached listings were down 4.6% to 2,643 and new condo listings decreased 8.7% to 419.
  • New listings are above both the 5-year average of 4,916 and the 10-year average of 4,426.
  • The number of new August listings exceeded the 2011 market low of 3,392 by 50.6%.
  • New listing activity across the region was mostly down, with only Harford County seeing an increase (+1.4% to 519).  The smallest decline in new listings was in Anne Arundel County (-0.5% to 1,149) and the largest was in Howard County (-6.5% to 557).
  • For the year-to-date, new listings are up just 0.4% to 41,730.


  • Active inventories of 9,999 were down 4.2% compared to last year and were up 1.2% from last month.  This is the lowest August level of the decade and is the second month in a row, after nine months of slight increases, that year-over-year inventories have declined.
  • Compared to last year, townhome inventories were down 2.9% to 3,561, single-family detached inventories were down 5.0% to 5,657, and condo inventories were down 5.3% to 774.
  • Inventories remain well below both the 5-yr average of 11,527 and the 10-yr average of 12,987.
  • August inventories are 46.8% below the peak level of 18,807 seen in 2010.  Last year’s 10,442 had been the lowest August inventory level until this month.
  • Inventory levels are up in Carroll County (+2.5% to 608) and in Baltimore City (+0.8% to 3,101), but they are down in Baltimore County (-4.3% to 2,323), in Howard County (-8.3% to 896), in Anne Arundel County (-8.4% to 2,245), and in Harford County (-9.9% to 826).


  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for August was 96.6%, up from last year’s 96.2% but down from last month’s 97.0%.
  • Single-family detached and townhomes both have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.6%, while condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.4%.
  • This August’s SP to OLP ratio remains well above both the 5-year average of 95.7% and the 10-year average of 93.9%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest August average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2011 when it was 89.1%.  This month’s 96.6% is the highest of the decade.
  • Harford County had the highest SP to OLP ratio in the region at 98.2%, up from last year’s 97.5%.
  • The lowest SP to OLP ratio is Baltimore City’s 93.8%, up from last year’s 93.4%.
  • Only Carroll County saw a decline in SP to OLP ratio compared to last year, dropping from 97.4% to 96.5%.
  • For the year-to-date, the regional SP to OLP ratio is at 96.6%, down from 97.3% 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 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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