Baltimore Metro home sales and prices flat in May

Posted on June 10, 2014 by Corey Hart



Inventory up 18.6 percent from May 2013


The Baltimore Metro Area continued the pattern of flat buyer activity in May.  Closed sales and new pending contracts were essentially unchanged from last May as closed sales increased by one sale and new pending contracts decreased by one contract.  But both were above their May-level 10-year averages.  Seller participation continues to increase and both active listings and new listings rose.  Active listings increased 18.7 percent, bringing the number of active listings to its highest level in over two years. 

However, the number of homes for sale remains tight, as the increase only brought inventory to 64.4% of its 2007 peak.  New listings continue to contribute to the increase in inventory, rising 17.1 percent from last year, the highest year-over-year gain in seven months.  The median sales price was unchanged from last year but was higher than its May-level for all years from 2009 to 2012.  Within the region, three jurisdictions had median sales price growth with increases in Howard County (3.0 percent), Carroll County (1.8 percent) and Anne Arundel County (1.7 percent).

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Increase in closed sales driven by condo properties.  There were 2,767 closed sales in the Baltimore Metro Region in May, which is 1 sale more than last May, or an increase of 0.04 percent.  This is the highest May-level in seven years.  The number of sales increased 21.6 percent from last month, which is a steeper rise than the 10-year average April to May change of 12.8 percent.  As compared to last year, closed sales for condo properties increased 14.2 percent, or by 48 sales, and drove the increase in total sales.  Sales of townhomes decreased 1.2 percent, or by 12 sales, from last May.  The number of closed sales of single-family detached homes decreased 2.0 percent, or by 30 sales, from last year.


No change from last year for overall median sales price; mild increase for single-family detached homes.  At $250,000, the median sales price in the Baltimore Metro Region was unchanged from last year.  Single-family detached homes were the only property segment with a higher median sales price than last year, increasing 0.7 percent, or by $2,168, to $327,168.  The median sales price for townhomes was $190,000 and was unchanged from last May.  The median sales price for condo properties decreased 2.4 percent, or by $5,000, to $205,000 and was the only property segment to decline.

Of the jurisdictions, only Howard County had the highest increase median sales price, rising 3.0 percent from last year.  Only Baltimore City and Baltimore County had median sales price decreases, falling 3.7 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.


Fourth consecutive year-over-year decrease in new contracts; increase in new contracts for townhomes.  The number of new contracts signed in May decreased by one contract or 0.03 percent, from last year to 3,652 contracts.  But the number of contracts was above the May-levels in 2006 through 2012.  Of the property segments, only townhomes had more contracts than this time last year and increased by 37 contracts, or 3.1 percent.  New contracts for single-family detached homes decreased 0.4 percent, or by 9 contracts.  New contracts for condo properties dropped 7.5 percent, or by 29 contracts, from last May and had the steepest decline of all property segments.  As compared to last month, new contracts increased 2.0 percent, which is a sharper increase than the ten-year average April to May change of -4.8 percent.


Highest number of active listings in over two years; double-digit increase for both active and new listings.  Active listings in the Baltimore Metro Region increased 18.6 percent from this time last year to 13,002 listings at the end of May.  This is an increase of 2,043 listings and the eighth consecutive month of increases for this indicator.  Despite this increase, active listings are 35.6 percent lower than their July 2008 peak.  Active listings for single-family detached homes had the strongest growth, rising 21.1 percent, or by 1,351 listings, from last May.  Active listings for townhomes climbed 16.3 percent or by 572 listings from last year.  Those for condo properties increased 11.2 percent or by 118 listings.

New listings have increased from the prior year for 14 consecutive months.  There were 5,589 new listings in May and increased by 814, or 17.1 percent, from last year.  New listings are now at their highest May-level since 2007.  Townhomes led all property segments in growth, rising 21.6 percent, or by 329 listings, from last year.  Listings for single-family detached homes increased 16.7 percent, or by 462 listings, from last May.  Those for condo properties increased 4.8 percent, or by 23 listings, as compared to last year.  The median-days-on-market rose by four days from last May to 30 days.  While this is the third year-over-year increase in a row, the number of days remains lower than its 10-year average May-level of 44.

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 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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