Baltimore area sees inventory gains for first time in over three years

Posted on November 13, 2018 by Corey Hart



Baltimore Metro median sales price of $259,900 just below October record; Sales activity declines; Inventories increase for the first time since 2015

Rockville, MD – (November 13, 2018) – 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 October 2018 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of $259,900 was virtually unchanged from last year’s $260,000, remaining near the highest October price level of the decade.  It was down 3.7% or $10,100 from last month.
  • Sales volume of more than $840 million was down 7.8% from last year.
  • Closed sales of 2,817 were down 9.0% compared to last year, the second consecutive month of declining sales.
  • New pending sales of 3,397 were also down, declining by 7.6% compared to last year.
  • New listings in October increased by 2.2% to 4,778.
  • There were 10,669 active listings at the end of October, a 0.5% increase in inventory levels and the first time since September 2015 that year-over-year inventory levels increased.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale in October was 95.7%, exceeding last year’s 95.4% and at the highest October level of the decade.


  • The October overall regional median sales price of $259,900 is down a mere $100 from last year but down 3.7% or $10,100 from last month.  It is the second highest October price of the decade.
  • Townhome prices were up 2.6% to $195,000.  Single-family detached home prices declined 1.5% to $320,000, the first time since March 2016 that single-family prices slipped.  Condo prices were down 8.9% to $200,000, the fourth consecutive month that condo prices have declined Y-o-Y.
  • Prices remain well above the 5-year average of $249,380 and the 10-year average of $240,555.
  • Prices are 18.7% above the October 2011 low of $219,000.
  • Howard County remains the most expensive area in the region, with an October median sales price of $375,000, a 7.4% decrease over last year, the largest percentage decline in the region.
  • Baltimore City still has the lowest median sales prices in the region, with an October price of $135,000, up 3.9% from last year. 
  • Baltimore County was the only other jurisdiction in the region where prices rose, up 6.8% to $242,000.  Elsewhere, prices were down as follows:  Anne Arundel (-1.2% to $325,000), Carroll County (-1.3% to $315,750) and Harford County (-2.0% to $240,000).
  • For the year to date, regional median sales prices are up 3.2% to $268,180.


  • There were 2,817 closed sales in October, down 9.0% compared to last year but up 1.1% from last month.  This was the second consecutive month of declining year-over-year closed sales.
  • All property types were down compared to last year, with single-family detached sales down 6.4% to 1,510, condo sales down 11.3% to 307 and townhome sales down 12.4% to 996. 
  • October sales dipped below the 5-year average of 2,900 but remain above the 10-year average of 2,435.
  • October sales were about 75% more than the trough of 1,611 seen in October 2011.
  • All areas in the region saw decreases in closed sales, with the smallest percentage decline in Howard County (-3.2% to 274) and the largest in Baltimore City (-14.7% to 611).
  • Across the region, year-to-date closed sales are down 2.2% to 33,565.


  • The 3,397 new pending sales in October were down 7.6% compared to last year but were up 4.5% compared to last month. 
  • Pending sales of single-family detached homes were down 6.9% to 1,774, townhome pending sales were down 7.8% to 1,268 and condo pending sales declined 11.9% to 349.
  • Pending contracts are below the 5-year average of 3,442 but remain above the 10-year average of 2,891.
  • The number of new pending contracts in October was 84.7% more than the 10-year market low of 1,839 seen in October 2010.
  • Except for Carroll County, where new pending sales rose (+5.8% to 200), all jurisdictions saw declines in pending contracts, with the smallest percentage decrease in Howard County (-4.5% to 365) and the largest decline in Baltimore County (-12.0% to 936).


  • There were 4,778 new listings in October, a 2.2% increase compared to last year and a 2.1% increase compared to last month.  
  • New single-family detached listings increased 5.5% to 2,484, but new townhome listings decreased 1.0% to 1,861, and new condo listings decreased 7.0% to 412.
  • New listings exceed the 5-year average of 4,621 and the 10-year average of 4,149.
  • The number of new October listings was up 49.2% compared to the 2012 market low of 3,202 but was 0.4% below the October 2015 high of 4,798.    
  • New listings were mostly up, with the largest increase in Baltimore County (+8.1% to 1,314) and the smallest increase in Carroll County (+3.4% to 277).  Baltimore City (-3.8% to 1,285) and Harford County (-8.6% to 384) were the only areas to see declines. 
  • For the year to date, new listings across the region are up 0.9% to 51,081.


  • There were 10,669 active listings at the end of October, up 0.5% compared to last year and up 0.1% from last month.
  • Compared to last year, single-family detached inventories were up 2.2% to 5,992, while townhome inventories were up 1.1% to 3,809.  Condo inventories were down a steep 14.2% to 841, the 24th consecutive month of double-digit declines in condo inventories.
  • Inventories remain well below both the 5-yr average of 12,299 and the 10-yr average of 13,501.
  • October inventories are 41.2% below the peak level of 18,147 seen in 2010.  Last year’s 10,612 remains the lowest October inventory level of the decade.
  • Generally, inventory levels rose, with Anne Arundel (+3.9% to 2,488), Baltimore County (+2.9% to 2,592), Howard County (+1.1% to 939) and Baltimore City (+0.6% to 3,188) increasing.  Carroll County (-5.8% to 583) and Harford County (-10.7% to 879) saw declines in inventories.


  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for October was 95.7%, up from last year’s 95.4% but down from last month’s 96.4%.  This was easily the highest October level of the decade.
  • Condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.7%, while single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 95.8% and townhomes have a SP to OLP ratio of 95.3%.
  • This October’s SP to OLP ratio remains well above both the 5-year average of 94.4% and the 10-year average of 92.8%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest October average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2011 when it was 89.1%, and the previous high was last October’s 95.4%.
  • The highest SP to OLP ratio was in Howard County, where it was 97.1%, up from last year’s 96.9%. 
  • The lowest SP to OLP ratio was in Baltimore City, where it was 92.6%, down from last year’s 93.1%.  This was the largest percentage decline in the region.
  • For the year to date, the SP to OLP ratio of 97.1% is up from last year’s 96.4%.


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


baltimore metro, market analysis, press release
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