Baltimore Metro home prices gain again as inventories continue to shrink

Posted on June 10, 2016 by Corey Hart



Median sales price up 4.8% to $262,000; Sales and pending contracts set new May highs; Inventories decline by double-digits

Rockville, MD – (June 10, 2016) – The following analysis of the Baltimore Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of ShowingTime RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) and is based on May MRIS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report

  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of $262,000 was up 4.8% or $12,000 from last year and up 7.8% or $19,000 from last month, recording the highest May sales price since 2008.   
  • Sales volume across the Baltimore Metro area was more than $1.1 billion, up 19% from last year and up 24.9% from last month.
  • May closed sales of 3,715 were up 15.1% year-over-year, the 22nd consecutive month of increases and the highest May in a decade.
  • There were 4,605 new pending contracts at the end of May, exceeding last year’s 4,313 by 6.8%, and making this the highest level of May new pending sales in a decade.
  • The number of new listings compared to last year dropped by 5.0% to 5,757.
  • The number of active listings declined by 10.4% to 12,196, the ninth month in a row of declining inventory growth.  The inventory decline was the largest since June 2013.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale in May was 95.5%.
  • The median days-on-market for May 2016 was 26 days, down from 32 last year, and tied for the best May in a decade.


  • The overall regional median sales price for May 2016 of $262,000 is up 4.8% or $12,000 from last year and up 7.8% or $19,000 from last month. Year-over-year condo prices were up 10.6% to $210,000, single-family detached prices were up 4.4% to $330,000 and townhome prices were up 0.4% to $203,000.
  • Prices are approximately 5% above the 5-year average of $249,900 and the 10-year average of $249,270.
  • May prices are 18% above the 2011 bottom of $221,950, but 4.5% below the peak of $274,250 seen in 2007.
  • Baltimore City saw the highest year-over-year appreciation at +9.2% but still remains the most affordable locale with a median sales price of $155,000.  Howard County continues to be the most expensive area in the region, with a May median sales price of $415,000, a 3.8% increase over last year.  Anne Arundel County had the smallest price appreciation (+0.1%) to $320,295.


  • May 2016 sales volume of 3,715 was up 15.1% or 486 units compared to 2015, and up 16.1% or 514 units compared to last month.  Single-family detached sales of 2,062 were up 18.4% and townhome sales of 1,291 were up 15.3%, but condo sales of 362 were down 1.6%. 
  • Sales are significantly above both the 5-year average of 2,968 and the 10-year average of 2,691.
  • Sales were at the highest May level in the last decade, exceeding the previous 2015 high of 3,229 by 15.1%.  They were 84.9% higher than the 2009 low of 2,009.
  • All jurisdictions continued to see gains in the number of sales, with the largest percentage (+28.6%) in Carroll County with 261 sales.  Howard County saw the smallest gain, with an 8.9% increase over last year to 443. 


  • May 2016 pending sales saw a year-over-year increase of 6.8% to 4,605.  The number of pending contracts for townhomes rose 10.8% to 1,574, condos rose 9.1% to 480 and single-family detached rose 4.0% to 2,551.
  • Pending contracts are 19.2% above the 5-year average of 3,862 and 45.9% above the 10-year average of 3,156.
  • The number of new pending contracts in May surpassed last year’s high of 4,313 by 6.8%.  It was 159.1% more than the 10-year market low of 1,777 seen in 2010.
  • All jurisdictions in the region showed increases in the number of pending contracts in May compared to last year except for Carroll County, where the number of pending sales dropped 1.7% to 292.  Baltimore City had the largest year-over-year gain at 17.1% to 1,030.


  • There were 5,757 total new listings added in May in the Baltimore Metro area, a 5.0% decrease compared to last May, and an 8.4% decrease compared to last month.  The number of new single-family detached listings decreased by 6.9% to 3,313, while condos decreased 2.6% to 534 and the number of new listings for townhomes decreased by 2.4% to 1,910.
  • New listings are above both the 5- and 10-year averages of 5,235 and 5,111, respectively.
  • The number of new listings in May was up 44% compared to the market low of 3,997 in 2012, but was 12.3% below the 2007 high of 6,563.
  • Only Baltimore City had growth in new listings, increasing 7.1% to 1,291.  The largest percentage decrease in new listings was in Harford County, decreasing 16.0% to 540.


  • Year-over-year active inventories dropped by 10.4% to 12,196, the ninth consecutive month of declining year-over-year inventory levels.  All property types were down, with townhomes down 11.1% to 3,851, single-family detached down 10.4% to 7.177 and condos down 8.2% to 1,168.
  • Inventories are slightly below the 5-year average of 12,491 and the 10-year average of 15,237.
  • May inventories are 38.3% below the decade high of 19,769 seen in May of 2008, but are 11.3% above the 2013 trough of 10,959.
  • All jurisdictions in the region continue to show declines in active inventories, with the largest percentage decline of 16.9% in Harford County to 1,239 and the smallest in Baltimore City at 4.4% to 3,212.


  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for May was 95.5%, up just slightly from last year’s 94.9% and up from last month’s 94.6%.
  • The May average SP to OLP ratio of 95.5% is above the 5 and 10-year averages of 94.4% and 93.1%, respectively.
  • Over the last decade, the highest May average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2007, where it was 96%; the lowest was recorded in 2011 at 88.5%.
  • Homes in Howard County sold at 97% of their original listing price in May, the highest in the region, and just slightly below last year’s 97.2%.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Baltimore City, where it was 93.1%, down from last year’s 93.2%.


  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in May in the Baltimore Metro region was 26 days, a decrease of six days versus the median DOM of 32 last year.  Last month it was 41 days.
  • This month, single-family detached and townhomes both had a median DOM of 25, while condos have a median DOM of 32.
  • May’s median DOM of 26 is below the 5-year average of 32 days and the 10-year average of 46 days.
  • The median DOM matched the low median DOM seen in May 2013, but was 49 days less than the peak DOM of 75 days in May 2009.
  • Homes in Howard County sell fastest, with a median DOM of 18, up from 16 days last year, while Baltimore City has the highest median DOM of 35 days, the same as 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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