Baltimore Metro hits highest December closed sales tally since 2005

Posted on January 12, 2015 by Corey Hart



Double-digit increase in closed sales for every jurisdiction; Contract activity up 27.5 percent


In 2014, the Baltimore Metro Area housing market continued to improve and ended on a positive note. Closed sales increased 26.7 percent between December 2013 and December 2014, the largest gain in over a year. Every jurisdiction in the region had double-digit increases in closed sales, led by Anne Arundel County (+41.5 percent). In the 2014 calendar year, the total number of closed sales increased 4.5 percent from the 2013 total. Every jurisdiction except Howard County had an increase in the number of annual sales in 2014 compared to 2013. In December, the number of new contracts signed increased 27.5 percent, indicating that upcoming months will see continued growth in closed sales.

The median sales price decreased modestly in December, driven by declines for single-family detached homes and townhomes. The median sales price for the calendar year 2014 was virtually unchanged from 2013, falling by 0.2 percent. The decrease was driven by price declines in Baltimore City and Harford County. Buyers continue to have more options as inventory rises. Heading into 2015, active inventory is 14.1 percent higher than the same point last year. New listings in December increased 28.0 percent over the number added in December 2013.

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Highest December-level since 2005; double-digit increases for all property segments. The number of closed sales in the Baltimore Metro area climbed 26.7 percent, or by 578 sales, from last December for a total of 2,742 sales. This is the largest year-over-year increase since 2013 and the highest December-total in nine years. Every property segment had more closed sales than last December. Single-family detached homes had the highest growth in sales, increasing 28.2 percent, or by 321 sales, from December 2013. Closed sales for townhomes increased by nearly as much, rising 26.1 percent, or by 204 sales, from last year. The number of condo sales increased 21.8 percent, or by 53 sales, from last December’s total. From last month, the number of sales increased 27.2 percent, a significantly larger increase than the ten-year average November-to-December change of +1.9 percent.


Decrease in December prices; annual price virtually unchanged from 2013. At $230,000, the median sales price in the Baltimore Metro Region decreased 1.7 percent from December. Condo properties were the only property segment with a higher median sales price than last year, increasing 5.8 percent to $198,850. The median sales price for single-family homes decreased 6.2 percent to $289,900. The median sales price for townhomes fell 6.1 percent from last December.

Within the region, the median sales price in Carroll County led the jurisdictions in growth, increasing 4.6 percent from December 2013. Two jurisdictions had year-over-year decreases in December median sales prices: Baltimore City (-36.5) and Anne Arundel County (-3.4). For the region, the median sales price in the 2014 calendar year was nearly unchanged, decreasing only $500 from 2013 to $240,000. The median sales price for the year was 9.1% below the peak annual price of $273,000 in 2007, but 9.1% higher than the $220,000 low of 2011. Among the jurisdictions, Baltimore County had the highest growth in median sale price for the calendar year, increasing 2.5 percent from 2013. Only Harford County (-1.2) and Baltimore City (-6.5) had lower median prices in 2014.


Double-digit increase with gains in all property segments; seventh consecutive month with year-over-year gains.  There were 2,340 new contracts signed in December, an increase of 27.5 percent from last year and the highest December-total since 2004.  New contracts have now risen from the prior year for seven consecutive months. Townhomes led the property segments in new contract growth, rising 32.4 percent from December 2013.  New contracts for single-family detached homes increased 25.5 percent while those for condo properties increased 19.3 percent.  As compared to last month, new contracts decreased 14.8 percent, which is in line with the ten-year average November-to-December change of -15.4 percent.


15th month of inventory gains; double-digit increase in new listings for all property segments.  Active listings continue to rise, increasing 14.1 percent, or by 1,474 listings, from last year to 11,922 listings.  This marks the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year gains, with double-digit increases for the past ten months.  Active listings of condo properties increased 16.5 percent, or by 160 listings, from last December.  Townhome inventory at year’s end is up 14.2 percent while single-family detached home inventory is up 13.7 percent.

New listings contributed to the supply gains, rising 28.0 percent from December 2013 for a total of 2,660 listings.  New listing activity has increased from the prior year for 21 consecutive months and reached its highest December-total since 2010.  Townhomes had the sharpest increase, rising 34.7 percent compared to the number added in December 2013.  New listings for single-family detached homes increased 24.4 percent and new condo listings added in December were up 21.6 percent.  The median days-on-market (DOM) increased by seven days to 56 days in December.  Despite the increase, homes are selling more quickly than the 10-year average December-level of 64 days. Half the homes sold throughout 2014 were on the market 6 weeks or less (42 days), a six-day increase over the 36-day median DOM in 2013.

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 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 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 to learn more.

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