Baltimore Metro Prices Continued Late Year Surge in December

Posted on January 10, 2013 by Corey Hart
10

Jan

2013

Condos lead in sales, new contracts, and price gains

OVERVIEW

The Baltimore Metro housing market has experienced considerable improvement this past year.  Most indicators point to a healthier market going into 2013, and the trend continues in December with year-over-year growth in sales, new pending contracts, and the median sale price.  The most striking aspect of the 2012 market has been the diminishing supply of homes for sale.  Active listings continue to plunge, and have fallen below 10,000 for the first time since February 2006.  This pattern appears to be slowly changing, as new contracts have been hovering around the 2011 level for the past 5 months.  The condo market continues to see the most growth activity, and leads in year-over-year gains in sales, new contracts, and median sale price.  As we continue through the winter season, it is unlikely that a dramatic surge of new listings will enter the market.  This should keep upward pressure on prices as long as buyers remain active.  If the inventory becomes too low, many buyers might decide to wait it out until more options become available, which could bring prices down in the near term.

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CLOSED SALES

Sales remain higher than 2011 for the 11th consecutive month, condos lead in growth.  There were 1,945 sales in December in the Baltimore Metro Area, 12.7 percent more than this time last year, and the highest December total in six years.  The year-over-year growth extends across all property segments.  Condos had the sharpest gain, up 41.5 percent from December 2011, followed by single-family homes at 10.2 percent, and townhomes homes up 8.8 percent.  The condo market has performed notably well in 2012, posting year-over-year gains every month, peaking at nearly 50 percent growth in November.

PRICES

Unusual late season median sale price growth occurs for most of the region.  At $235,000, the median sales price in the Baltimore Metro Area is up 6.9 percent from December 2011.  This is the sharpest year-over-year gain since the summer, and the highest December median price in 3 years.  Additionally, the median sale price rose 2.2 percent from last month, a gain of $5,000.  Late season price increases are not common for the region, with the 10-year average change at -0.3 percent.  The low supply of homes for sale is likely playing a role in the price gains.  Condos led all property segments in year-over-year growth, up 11.1 percent from December 2011, an increase of over $18,000.  Median townhome prices rose 10.6 percent, followed by single-family homes at 7.4 percent.  Carroll County leads all jurisdictions in year-over-year price growth for the first time this year with a median sale price of $280,000, up 16.7 percent from December 2011.  Median sale prices in all other jurisdictions in the metro area are up from this time last year.

NEW CONTRACTS

 

New contract activity stronger than last year, but down from last month in line with seasonality.  There were 1,855 new contracts signed in December in the Baltimore Metro Area, up 9.3 percent from this time last year.  New contracts fell 16.2 percent from November, which is in line with seasonal norms.  Similar declines occurred across all property segments from November.  Condos had the largest year-over-year growth in new contracts, up 15.9 percent from December 2011.  New contracts for single-family homes are up 9.3 percent, and townhomes are up 7.5 percent.  Year-over-year growth has been consistent throughout 2012 for the region, which signals healthy demand in the market.

INVENTORY

Lowest level of active listings in nearly 7 years, however the pattern is slowly changing.  There were 9,674 active listings at the end of December in the Baltimore Metro region, 24.2 percent below this time last year.  The total inventory of active listings is now at the lowest level in nearly 7 years.  The decline appears to be slowing, as new listings are only down 0.5 percent from last year.  New listings for townhomes and condos are actually up from last December 10.8 percent and 9.6 percent respectively, the third consecutive month of growth for these property segments.  The low inventory of homes for sale is having a direct impact on the median days-on-market, which was 50 days in December, down 34 days from this time last year.  The sale-to-list price ratio is rising due to the low inventory, and is now 92.2 percent, up from 88.3 percent a year ago.

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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.

Baltimore Metro Area, market analysis, press release
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