Baltimore Metro Market Remained Stronger than Last Year in October

Posted on November 12, 2012 by Corey Hart
12

Nov

2012

Market activity slows with the season, however indicators are stronger than last year; Price growth flattens, despite shrinking inventory

OVERVIEW

The Baltimore Metro housing market remains stronger than last year, but a seasonal slow-down is taking place throughout the region.  Sales numbers declined from last month, with the sharpest drop occurring in the single-family home segment.  Condo sales, on the other hand rose, which could be due to their lower price points.  Proportionally, condo sales continue to grain traction within the market, which could suggest a change in location preferences in the active buyer market. 

It also could be a result of loosened FHA regulations regarding the required percentage of owner-occupied units for condo financing.  Sales prices have flattened in many areas of the region, which is likely a result of cooler demand.  New contract activity is a bright spot this month, with numbers exceeding the average month-to-month growth rate from September.  The mild temperatures in October could be playing a role in both the increase in new contracts as well as the slowed decline of new listings.  New listings for townhomes are up compared to last year, and are at the same level for condos, which could signal a changing inventory pattern.  The low inventory continues to have an impact on the market, and active listings are still shrinking relative to last year.  Despite the new listings, it is unlikely that the region will see an influx of active listings as we close out the year.  Many would-be sellers are still facing equity losses, and economic uncertainty remains a concern.

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CLOSED SALES

Improvement from last year continues, but a slower fall season takes hold on most of the market.  There were 1,967 sales in October in the Baltimore Metro Area, which is 22.1 percent higher than this time last year, the highest year-over-year gain in over 2 years.  Sales continue to follow the typical seasonal pattern in the region, falling slightly from September.  Despite the sharp improvement from last October, sales remain 480 below the 10-year average for the month.  Sales activity for all property segments are up from last year, with condos leading the way with 45.1 percent growth from October 2011.  Townhomes and single-family home sales are up year-over-year 22.8 and 17.6 percent, respectively.  With the exception of the condo market, sales in all property segments declined from September in line with seasonal patterns.  Condo sales rose by 13.5 percent from September, and represent 11.9 percent of all sales in the Baltimore Metro Area market in October, the highest proportion in 3 years.

PRICES

Median sales prices are up in all jurisdictions from last year, however the pace of price appreciation has slowed.  At $229,900, the median home price in the Baltimore Metro Area is up 5.0 percent from October 2011, an increase of over $10,000.  The price growth observed earlier in the year has slowed in the region. Single-family homes led all property segments in growth, up 2.8 percent from this time last year.  Townhomes rose 2.5 percent, and condos declined by 2.4 percent.  Once again, Baltimore City leads all jurisdictions in terms of year-over-year price growth.  At $96,800, the median price in Baltimore is up 16.6 percent from October 2011.  All jurisdictions in the Baltimore Metro Area experienced price gains from this time last year, though the rate of growth has flattened.

NEW CONTRACTS

Market activity persists in October, new contracts up relative to seasonal average.  There were 2,602 new contracts signed in October in the Baltimore Metro Area, up 17.7 percent from this time last year, the 10th consecutive year-over-year gain.  New contract activity rose 7.5 percent from September, which is above the 10-year average month-to-month change of 3.7 percent.  The increase could be partially due to the mild temperatures experienced for much of October.  Condos led all property segments in new contract growth, up 29.3 percent from this time last year.  Townhomes rose 28.5 percent from October 2011, followed by single-family homes, which increased 9.5 percent.

INVENTORY

Active listings continue to shrink, though the decline of new listings has slowed.  There were 11,921 active listings at the end of October in the Baltimore Metro Area, 24.9 percent below this time last year, a drop of 3,800 listings.  The decline in new listings on the other hand appears to be slowing.  There were 3,202 new listings in the region in October, only 1.4 percent below this time last year.  New listings for townhomes actually grew, up 2.3 percent from October 2011.  This could be an early indication of a changing inventory pattern.  The low inventory of homes for sale is having a direct impact on the median days-on-market, which was 48 days in October, down 28 days from this time last year.  Impacts can also be observed with the sale-to-list price ratio, which rose from 89.1 percent in October 2011 to 92.3 percent this month for the Baltimore Metro region.

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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 www.rbintel.com/statistics. 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). Visit rbintel.com or www.facebook.com/rbintel to learn more.

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.

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