Baltimore area prices touch highest September levels since 2008

Posted on October 11, 2016 by Corey Hart



Sales and new contracts both at highest September levels in a decade; Inventories decline by double-digits for third month in a row.

Rockville, MD – (October 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 September MRIS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of $253,670 was up 7.9% or $18,670 from last year, and at the highest September level since 2008.  Prices were down a negligible 0.5% from last month.
  • Sales volume across the Baltimore Metro area was $915 million, up 13.7% from last year.
  • September closed sales of 3,203 were up 8.1% compared to last year but down 14.5% compared to last month.  This was the highest level of September sales in a decade.
  • There were 3,556 new pending contracts recorded in September, up 1.7% compared to last year and also at the highest September level in a decade.
  • The number of new listings compared to last year dropped 3.4% to 4,779.
  • The number of active listings declined by 13.2% to 12,450, the thirteenth consecutive month of declines.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale in September was 94.9%, the highest September level in a decade.
  • The median days-on-market was 36 days, down nine days from last year.


  • The overall regional median sales price for September 2016 of $253,670 is up 7.9% or $18,670 from last year, but down 0.5% or $1,330 from last month.
  • Compared to last year, townhome prices were up 11.4% to $195,000, single-family detached prices were up 8.6% to $315,000 and condo prices were up 1.0% to $207,000.
  • Prices are about 4.5% above both the 5-year average of $242,674 and the 10-year average of $242,967.
  • September prices are 11.9% above the 2011 price trough of $226,600, and 4.3% below the peak of $265,000 seen in 2007.
  • With a year-over-year increase of 13.9%, Baltimore County saw the highest level of price appreciation to $227,750.  Baltimore City remains the most affordable locale with a median sales price of $123,000, up 9.8% from last year.
  • Howard County continues to be the most expensive area in the region, with a September median sales price of $385,000, a 4.1% increase compared to last year. 
  • Across the region, for the January-September year-to-date, prices are up 3.9% to $250,000.


  • September 2016 sales of 3,203 were up 8.1% compared to last year’s 2,964, but down 14.5% compared to last month’s 3,748.  This is the highest September level of sales in a decade.  
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached sales were up 10.7% to 1,752, townhome sales were up 8.7% to 1,124 but condo sales were down 6.0% to 327. 
  • Sales are well above the 5-year average of 2,629 and the 10-year average of 2,327.
  • Sales were 73.3% higher than the 2010 low of 1,848.
  • All jurisdictions saw growth in the number of closed sales, with the largest in Harford County, where sales rose by 22.2% to 336.  Howard County saw the smallest increase of 0.9% to 348.
  • For the January-September period, regional sales are up 10.5% to 30,003, and all jurisdictions show year-over-year growth in sales.


  • September 2016 pending sales rose 1.7% compared to last year to 3,556, but were down 9.6% compared to last month.  This is the highest September level of pending contracts in a decade. 
  • New contracts for condos increased 15.1% to 397, single-family detached contracts increased 2.8% to 1,934, while townhome pending contracts declined 3.4% to 1,225.
  • Pending contracts are above the 5-year average of 2,987 and the 10-year average of 2,462.
  • The number of new pending contracts in September was 108.9% more than the 10-year market low of 1,702 seen in 2007.
  • Baltimore City saw the largest increase in pending contracts of 13.6%, while Carroll County saw the largest decline of 12.2%. 
  • For the January-September YTD, new pending sales are up 7.4% across the region to 36,721.


  • There were 4,779 total new listings added in September, a 3.4% decrease compared to last September, and a 1.5% increase compared to last month. 
  • This month, only condos saw an increase in the number of new listings, increasing 11.2% to 496.  The number of townhome listings declined 7.9% to 1,700 and the number of new single-family detached listings declined by 2.7% to 2,583.
  • New listings are above both the 5-year and 10-year averages of 4,319 and 4,270, respectively.
  • The number of new listings in September was up 47.8% compared to the market low of 3,233 in 2012, and was 5.4% below the 2007 high of 5,051.
  • Howard (+11.9%) and Harford Counties (+2.0%) both saw increases in the number of new listings, while all other jurisdictions saw declines, with the largest in Carroll County (-10.1%).
  • Across the Baltimore metro for January-September, new listings are up 2.5% to 45,827.


  • Active inventories dropped by 13.2% to 12,450 compared to last year and were up 1.1% compared to last month.
  • Inventory levels for all property types were down for the ninth consecutive month, with single-family detached down 15.2% to 7,096, townhomes down 11.6% to 4,191, and condos down 6.3% to 1,163.
  • Inventories are below both the 5-year average of 12,958 and the 10-year average of 15,730.
  • September inventories are 38.3% below the decade high of 20,170 seen in September of 2007, and are 7.2% above the September 2013 trough of 11,609.
  • All jurisdictions in the region continue to show declines in active inventories, with the largest percentage decline of 17.6% in Carroll County to 826 active listings, and the smallest decline in Baltimore City of 7.8% to 3,321 active listings.


  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for September was 94.9%, up from last year’s 93.5% but down from last month’s 95.6%.  This was the highest September level in a decade.
  • The September average SP to OLP ratio is above the 5 and 10-year averages of 93.8% and 92.5%, respectively.
  • Over the last decade, the previous highest September average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2013, where it was 94.2%; the lowest was recorded in 2011 at 88.5%.
  • Homes in Howard County sold at 96.8% of their original listing price in September, the highest in the region, and above last year’s 96.2%.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Baltimore City, where it was 92.3%, up from last year’s 89.7%. 
  • All jurisdictions showed increases in SP to OLP compared to last year.
  • Across the region, the YTD SP to OLP ratio is 94.8%, up from 94.0% for last year.


  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in September in the Baltimore Metro region was 36 days, down nine days from last year but up seven days from last month.
  • This month, condos had a median DOM of 41, single-family detached homes had a median DOM of 38, and townhomes had a median DOM of 32.
  • September’s median DOM of 36 is below both the 5-year average of 42 days and the 10-year average of 55 days.
  • This September’s median DOM was 45 days less than the peak DOM of 81 days in September 2008 and one more day than the low of 35 days seen in 2013.
  • Homes in Howard County had the lowest median DOM of 28, down from 40 days last year.
  • Harford County had the highest median DOM of 43 days, down from 56 days last year.
  • For the year-to-date, all jurisdictions are seeing decreases in the median DOM.  For the overall region, the YTD median DOM is 35 days compared to 42 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 RBI’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 ShowingTime RBI, 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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