Baltimore Metro new pendings hit highest monthly tally in a decade

Posted on May 11, 2015 by Corey Hart



New contracts and closed sales both top April 2014 marks by 23 percent; Prices dip slightly as foreclosure sales increases continue

Rockville, MD – (May 11, 2015) – 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 April 2015 MRIS housing data.


The Baltimore Metro housing market saw large increases in sales, new contracts and inventories compared to April 2014, but experienced a small decline in median sales prices.  Closed sales of 2,796 increased by 22.8% from April 2014 and by 10.4% compared to March 2015.  The number of new contracts increased 22.5% to 4,387 from the prior year, and are at their highest April level and highest overall number in a decade. The median sales price in April in the Baltimore Metro area was $230,000, down $10,000 or 4.2% from a year earlier and nearly flat compared to last month.  The $267,000 median sales price for “non-distressed” sales (those not involving a short sale or foreclosures) is also down just slightly from the median sales price of $269,450 last April.  Total sold dollar volume across the region in April was more than $743 million, up 16.5% percent from last year.

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Despite robust sales, inventories are still higher than April last year, up 5.8% to 12,659.  Inventories are approaching the 5-year average but remain below the 10-year average for April.  New listings are up 10.9% to 6,204, which is the highest April level since 2007.  Median days on market are at 48, increasing by 3 days over April 2014, but are down 18 days from March 2015 and remain below historical averages of about 58 days.

There were 580 REO (foreclosure) and 119 short sales in April in the Baltimore Metro area, for a total of 699 bank-mediated transactions, which is 25% of all closed sales.  Short sales are down by 11% compared to April 2014, while REO sales are up by nearly 85% compared to last year.  Foreclosure activity continues to heavily impact the Baltimore City market, with 223 REO sales and 34 short sales in April, accounting for nearly 38% of all homes sold in the city.  The median sales price for REO sales in Baltimore City was $40,000, compared to $169,900 for non-distressed sales.  In Baltimore County, distressed sales accounted for 22% of all sales, with a median sales price of $110,000 for REO sales and $223,750 for non-distressed properties.


Year-over-year sales remain strong, best April since 2007.  Closed sales increased by double-digits for the fifth straight month, with a year-over-year increase of 22.8% or 521 sales, and up 264 sales or 10.4% over March 2015.  There were a total of 2,796 sales, the highest April since 2007.  For the third straight month, all home types had sales increases, led by condos which increased by 25.5% or 64 units, followed closely by single-family detached which increased by 25.3%, or 294 units, and townhomes, which increased by 19%, or 163 units.  April sales are 23% more than the 5-year average and 17% more than the 10-year average.  Year to date, the number of sales across the region is up 27.1% compared to 2014, with 2,000 more units sold than at this point last year.  All jurisdictions have double-digit increases in the number of sales YTD. 


New contracts rise for eleventh straight month, highest level in a decade.  The number of new contracts increased 22.5% from April of 2014 to a total of 4,387, an increase of 806.  New contracts have now risen year-over-year for eleven consecutive months, and this April was the single best month for new contracts in a decade.  For the seventh month in row, there have been double-digit increases in year-over-year pending sales growth, and all property segments had more pending contracts than the prior year.  This month condos lead the way with a 30.8% increase, or 116 units.  The number of new contracts for townhomes increased 23% or 284 units, while single-family detached grew by 20.6%, or 406 units compared to April 2014.  New pending contracts exceed the 5-year and 10-year averages by 27% and 36%, respectively.   


Median sales prices down 4.2% year-over-year, flat month-over-month.  Median sales prices dipped 4.2% to $230,000 compared to April 2014.  Townhomes saw the largest percentage loss of 11.5% to $158,000, while condos dropped 7.1% to $195,000 and single-family detached dropped 1.6% to $300,000.  Month-over-month prices held steady, with single-family detached and condos both increasing by $15,000 while townhomes dropped by $5,750.   

Howard County continues to have the highest median sales price at $390,000, which is up 2.1% from April 2014 on an 8.5% increase in the number of sales to 295.  The largest increase in median sales price was in Carroll County, which experienced a 9% increase to $286,750, coupled with a significant 53.9% increase in volume over the prior April, increasing from 130 to 200 sales.  Median sales prices in Anne Arundel County dropped 2.5% to $300,000 on 629 closed sales, an 18.7% increase over the prior year.  Harford County saw a 5.5% increase in median sales price to $234,600 on a 42.5% increase in volume to 248 sales.  Baltimore County saw a 24.2% increase in sales volume to 740 units, while median sales price dropped 3.4% from $212,500 to $205,000.  Baltimore City saw a 14.2% decline in the median sales price from $119,700 to $102,750 with a 19.2% increase in volume to 684 sales.


Active listings continue to increase, new listings at highest level since May 2007, days-on-market up slightly.  This is the nineteenth consecutive month that active listings have increased, with 12,659 properties on the market at the end of April, an increase of 5.8% compared to last year.  For over a year, all property segments have experienced year-over-year inventory growth.  For the sixth month in a row, condos had the highest percentage increase in the number of listings.  For April, the year-over-year increase was 9% or 99 units.  Townhomes increased by 6.5%, or 247 listings, and single-family detached grew by 4.9% or 349 listings.  Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County and Baltimore County each have about 25% of the total active listings for the region, with the remaining split between Harford, Howard and Carroll Counties.  The percentage of bank-mediated inventory as a percentage of total inventory dropped slightly to 16.8% from 18.0% last month and 15.8% a year ago.

There were also more new listings in April 2015 compared to last year, a 10.9% increase of 608 units to a total active listings of 6,204, which is the highest monthly level since May 2007.  New listings for condos jumped by the largest percentage, at 18.9% or 97 units, followed by townhomes which increased by 13.5% or 246 units, while single-family detached listings grew by 8.1% or 265 units.  There have now been year-over-year increases in the number of new listings for 25 consecutive months, and the number of new listings comfortably exceeds the 5-year average of 5,101 and the 10-year average of 5,404.

At 48 days, the median days-on-market (DOM) increased by 3 days over April 2014, but remains slightly below both the 5-year and 10-year averages of 57 and 59 days respectively.  Single-family detached have a median DOM of 57 days, which is down from 80 days last month but up from 55 days last year.  Condos have a median DOM of 42 compared to last month’s 57 days and last year’s 39 days.  Townhomes have a median DOM of 41 compared to 50 for last month and up from 36 last year.

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


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