Baltimore Metro home sales up 16 percent in January

Posted on February 10, 2016 by Corey Hart



Prices rise 4.8%; Inventory declines for 5th straight monthPrices rise 4.8%; Inventory declines for 5th straight month

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

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • Baltimore Metro area median sales prices show solid growth in January, with a healthy 4.8% year-over-year median price increase to $220,000.  Townhome prices rose, while single-family and condos declined. 
  • Sales volume across the Baltimore Metro area was nearly $537 million, up 21.6% from last year.
  • Sales in January were up a strong 16.1% year-over-year, the 14th month of double-digit increases.
  • The number of new pending contracts declined 3.1% from January 2015, the first decline since April 2014, probably due to January’s historic blizzard.
  • The number of new listings also declined for the first time in 33 months, again likely due to the late January weather disturbances.
  • The number of active listings declined by 4.7%, the fifth month in a row of declining inventory growth.  Inventories are likely to shrink further as the year progresses.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale was 91.8% at the end of January.
  • Median days on market for January 2016 was 56 days, down nine days from last year, and below the 5 and 10-year averages of 61 and 72 days, respectively.



  • The regional median price for January 2016 of $220,000 is up 4.8% from last year.  Year-over-year, townhome prices were up 18.6%, while single-family detached and condo prices were down about 3.5%.
  • January prices are 5.6% above the 2012 bottom, but 17% below the peak of 2007.
  • Baltimore City saw the highest year-over-year appreciation at +47.8%, but remains the most affordable location with a median sales price of $102,000. 
  • Howard County is the most expensive area in the region with a January median sales price of $339,500, but saw prices decline 9.5% compared to last year.



  • January 2016 sales volume of 2,073 was up 16.1% compared to 2015.  All types of properties showed increases in sales volume, with both condos and single-family detached showing growth of about 25%, while townhomes are up 5.3%.
  • The number of closed sales in January was nearly double the 10-year market low of 1,079 seen in January 2009, and only 5.9% below the 2007 peak total of 2,203.
  • Most jurisdictions in the region showed double-digit gains in the number of sales in January 2016 compared to last year, except for Howard County which saw only a 9.5% increase and Baltimore City, which saw a 10.7% decrease.



  • For the first time in 20 months, the number of pending sales compared to last year declined.  January 2016 pending sales were 2,791, a drop of 3.1% compared to last year.
  • The number of pending contracts for single-family detached homes rose 2.1% compared to last year, while the number of townhome and condo pending sales declined by 7.6% and 11.9%, respectively.
  • The number of new pending contracts in January was more than double the 10-year market low of 1,344 seen in 2009, and only 3.1% below last year’s 10-year high of 2,880.
  • Pending contracts remain above both the 5 and 10-year averages of 2,502 and 2,193 respectively.
  • Most jurisdictions in the region showed single-digit declines in the number of pending contracts in January compared to last year, with only Harford (+12.6%) and Carroll County (+4.1) showing increases.



  • There were 3,307 total new listings added in January in the Baltimore Metro area, which was a 6.7% decline compared to last January, and the first decline since March 2013.
  • The number of new townhome listings dropped by 10.8% compared to last year, while single-family new listings declined 5.1% and condos increased by 0.3%.
  • The number of new listings in January was up 16.7% compared to the market low in 2012, but was 34.5% below the 2007 high.
  • The January new listing total was 4.5% above the 5-year average, but still 7.7% below the 10-year average.
  • New listing activity across the region was mixed.  Baltimore City (-6.4%), Baltimore County (-0.6%), Anne Arundel County (-19.5) and Carroll County (-20.1%) were all down, while Howard County (+2.3%) and Harford County (+10.1) were up.



  • Active inventories dropped by 4.7% compared to last January, continuing the downward trend in inventory levels that started in September 2015.  Active inventories declined for all property types.
  • Active inventory of 10,988 listings are 1.6% above the 5-year average but 17.8% below the 10-year average.
  • January inventories are 17.1% above the trough of 2013, but are down 37.7% from the 2008 peak.
  • All jurisdictions in the region showed a decline in active inventories in January, with the largest being an 8% decline in Anne Arundel and Carroll counties.



  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for January was 91.8%, compared to 91.2% in January of 2015.
  • Over the last decade, the highest January average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2007, where it was 94.7%; the lowest was recorded in 2009 at 87.4%.
  • The January average SP to OLP ratio of 91.8% is above the 5 and 10-year averages of 91.1% and 90.6%, respectively.
  • Homes in Howard County sold at 94.5% of their original listing price in January, the highest in the region.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Baltimore City, where it was 88.7%.



  • Half of the homes sold in January in the Baltimore Metro region were on the market for 56 days or less, representing a decrease of nine days versus the median DOM in January 2015.
  • The January DOM of 56 days is 5.4 days lower than the 5-year average of 61.4, and 15.8 days lower than the 10-year average of 71.8 days.
  • The median DOM was six days higher than the 10-year January low of 50 days recorded in 2014, but an improvement of 46 days compared to the peak DOM of 102 days in January 2009.
  • Townhomes continue to sell fastest, with a median DOM of 46.  Condos have a median DOM of 55 and single-family detached have a median DOM of 66.
  • Only Howard County saw an increase in DOM, increasing to 68 days.  Carroll County has the highest DOM of 72 (down 22 days from last year) and Baltimore City has the lowest at 46 days (down 12 days).


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 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 in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Monthly reports 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 MLS.

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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