Baltimore Metro Demand Continues into Late Summer, Highest August Sales in 5 Years

Posted on September 10, 2012 by Corey Hart



Active listings shrink, drop below 12,000 for only the 2nd time since 2006


The Baltimore Metro housing market continues to exhibit signs of strength compared with last year.  Both sales and new contracts had double-digit growth from August 2011.  The median sale price for the metro area also rose from last year albeit slightly.  If demand persists into the fall, the shrinking inventory of homes for sale will continue to play a major role in the market.  Currently, the low supply of active listings is putting upward pressure on prices, decreasing days-on-market (down 17 days from last year), and increasing the average sale-to-list price ratio (up 3.5 points from last year).  Many people are likely keeping their homes off the market due to continued economic uncertainty, preferring to wait it out. 

It is also likely that homeowners in some communities would still face equity losses if they were to sell at the current price points, which could be deterring many from entering the market.  All residential property segments are selling more units at a faster rate in the metro area.  Condos sales growth has been the strongest so far this year, and townhome price growth has led for nine consecutive months.

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Rockville, MD – (September 10, 2012) – The following analysis of the Baltimore, MD Metro Area housing market has been prepared by RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) and GMU Center for Regional Analysis, and is based on August 2012 MRIS housing data.


Late summer sales growth in the metro area, highest August-level in five years.

There were 2,405 sales in August in the Baltimore Metro Area, 17.5 percent higher than this time last year, and the highest August-level since 2007.  Sales increased 3.6 percent from July, which is above the 10-year July to August average of 0.2 percent.  This late summer growth might be an indication that there is still pent up demand in the market.  Condo sales in the Baltimore Metro market continue to mount, up 30.5 percent compared to August 2011, the 10th consecutive year-over-year gain for this property segment.  Condos typically have lower price points, which is likely playing a role in their sales growth during these economically uncertain times.  Sales of detached homes and townhomes are also up, rising 17.4 and 14.2 percent respectively compared to last year.


Median home prices up slightly from last year but down $10K from last month.

At $239,900, the median home price in the Baltimore Metro Area fell $10,100 from July, but is still up $4,900 from last August, a 2.1 percent increase.  This is the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year growth, however the 4.0 percent drop from July is larger than the 10-year July to August average of -0.7 percent.  Growth in the proportion of townhome and condo sales is likely playing a role in the median price decline, as these properties tend to have lower sales prices than detached homes.  Price gains have slowed in many jurisdictions, while others have picked up.  Continuing the recent pattern, Baltimore City had the highest year-over-year price growth at 43.2 percent, up $36,150 to $119,900.  Townhomes continue to lead all residential property segments, up 10.3 percent from this time last year to a median price of $182,000, the ninth consecutive year-over-year gain.  At $313,500, the median price for detached properties rose 5.6 percent.  The median price for condos declined 7.5 percent from August 2011 to $178,000.


New contracts remain strong relative to last year, decline from last month in line with seasonality.

There were 2,791 new contracts signed in August in the metro area, up 18 percent from this time last year, and the eighth consecutive year-over-year gain.  Condos led all residential property segments in new contract growth, up 35.6 percent from August 2011, an increase of 83 contracts.  New contracts for detached homes rose 14.9 percent compared to last year, and townhomes climbed 18.0 percent.  New contract activity has been much higher this summer overall compared to last year.  There have been 1,188 more contracts signed between June and August 2012 than June and August 2011


Active listings remain low, drop below 12,000 for only the 2nd time since March 2006.

There were 11,970 active listings at the end of August in the Baltimore Metro Area, 26.4 percent below this time last year, and the lowest August-level in seven years.  The inventory of active listings has been declining persistently for the past year and half.  However, the metro area did see a 2.9 percent uptick in new listings in August compared to last year, which could be an early indication of a changing pattern.  This is only the third year-over-year increase in new listings over the same year and a half time period.  The low inventory of homes for sale coupled with increased sales is driving down the median days-on-market which has dropped 17 days since last year to its current level of 48 days.  The average sales-to-list price ratio has also been impacted by the low supply, increasing to 92.1 percent from 89.1 percent a year ago.


About the RBI 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 bulk of this report’s content is readily available, down to the ZIP code level of granularity, via interactive charts and reports offered via rbiEXPERT, a premium subscription service offered to real estate professionals interested in growing their business with the help of industry-leading and user-friendly analytics. 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.

About RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC

RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI)is a primary source of real estate data, analytics and business intelligence for real estate professionals with business interests in the Mid-Atlantic region. The full monthly data report for all jurisdictions in the MRIS region, along with interactive charts and graphics, can be found at RBI is the only company in the Mid-Atlantic region that provides timely, online access to statistical information directly from the MRIS Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

About the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University

The Center for Regional Analysis conducts research and analytical studies on economic, fiscal, demographic, housing, and social and policy issues related to the current and future growth of the Virginia, Maryland, and DC areas. Through its range of research and programs — major economic impact studies, economic forecasts, fiscal analyses, conferences and seminars, publications, information services, and data products — the Center’s activities strengthen decision-making by businesses, governments, and institutions throughout the Greater Washington region.  Visit http://cra.gmu.eduto learn more.

Baltimore Metro Area, market analysis, press release
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