Baltimore Metro Sees Double-Digit Growth in Sales, New Contracts in April

Posted on May 10, 2013 by Corey Hart
10

May

2013

Prices remain flat; Active listings remain historically low, but new listings rise sharply

OVERVIEW

After a slow start to the year, demand continues on an upward trend in the Baltimore Metro Area housing market.  Sales and new pending contracts both rose at double-digit rates relative to last year, evidence of improved confidence among buyers.   Despite the demand pressures, the median price remained flat in the region, rising only $500 from last year.  There were increases in median price at the jurisdiction level, however many were slower than in recent months. 

The inventory of homes for sale remains historically low, and continues to impact all property segments.  New listings on the other hand rose sharply in April, possibly an early sign of a changing pattern.  The rise in new listings could indicate that sellers are starting to be drawn into the market by higher price points and faster sale times.  The median days-on-market for the region is now 36 days, the lowest of any month since the summer of 2006.  Similarly, the average sale-to-list price ratio now stands at 93.9 percent for the region, the highest it has been for any month in five years.

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CLOSED SALES

Double-digit sales growth resumes, all property segments post gains from last year.  Sales rebounded in April in the Baltimore Metro Area, after two months of sluggish growth.  There were 2,299 sales in April, a gain of 14.5 percent from this time last year, and the highest April total the region has seen in three years.  Sales are up 17.5 percent from last month, which is more than double the 10-yr average March-to-April change.  Condos led all property segments in terms of growth rate, with the number of sales rising 32.7 percent compared to April 2012.  Townhome sales rose 23.0 percent from this time last year, and single-family detached sales increased 6.6 percent.  Condos are attractive to many first-time homebuyers and empty nesters looking to downsize, which continues to fuel the demand.

PRICES

Median sales price relatively flat compared to last year; two suburban counties show price declines.  At $238,000, the median sales price in the Baltimore Metro Area is essentially unchanged from a year ago, rising only $500, an increase of 0.2 percent.  Townhomes led all property segments in year-over-year price growth, up 5.7 percent from April 2012, a gain of $10,000.  The median sales price for the condo market is up 3.7 percent, and single-family detached homes are unchanged from a year ago at $299,000.  At the jurisdiction level, Carroll County led in terms of growth rate, with the median price rising 12.0 percent from April 2012.  Baltimore County and Howard County experienced a decline in median sale price, falling 4.3 percent and 6.7 percent respectively from last year.

NEW CONTRACTS

Spike in new contracts for the region compared to last year, 2nd highest April on record for the condo market.  There were 3,622 new contracts signed in April, up 21.5 percent from this time last year, and the highest April total the region has seen in six years.  This is the sharpest gain in new contracts since the summer of 2011, and provides evidence of strong demand in the market.  All property segments posted double-digit growth in new contracts, with condos leading.  There were 391 Condos contracts signed in April, up 30.8 percent from last year, and the second highest April total on record for the region.  New contracts on townhomes and single-family detached properties rose 23.6 percent and 18.6 percent, respectively. 

INVENTORY

Low inventory continues in all property segments however new listings spike up, sharpest gain in 3 years.  There were 10,440 active listings at the end of April in the Baltimore Metro Area, 17.3 percent lower than this time last year, and the lowest April level in eight years.  The number of active listings rose 8.2 percent from last month, but this is in line with seasonal patterns.  The inventory shortage continues to affect all property segments, with double-digit declines across the board.  New listings on the other hand have spiked up possibly as a result of increased sales.  There were 4,951 new listings in April, an increase of 18.8 percent from this time last year, and the sharpest gain in three years.  Notably, all property segments posted double-digit growth in new listings with condos leading the way, up 27.6 percent.  New listings for townhomes rose 26.8 percent, and single-family detached home listings are up 13.3 percent. The historically low inventory continues to drive down the median days on market, which at 36 days is 28 days lower than April 2012, and the lowest for any month since the summer of 2006.  The average sale-to-list price ratio continues to climb and is now 93.9 percent, the highest the region has seen in over five years.


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.

 

 

Baltimore Metro Area, market analysis, press release
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