Baltimore Metro Year End Sales Fall 2.8 Percent Short of Prior Year

Posted on March 02, 2011 by Corey Hart



New RBI Report Shows Higher Priced Detached Housing Outperforms Attached Housing Market

Rockville, MD (March 2, 2011) –  RBI, the primary source of real estate data, analytics, and business intelligence for real estate professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region, today released its 2010 year end statistical analysis for the Baltimore metro housing market. The market area includes: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County. 


After numbers were tallied for 2010, units sold fell short of the 2009 total but remained relatively consistent with levels of the prior two years,” said noted housing market expert and RBI analyst Jonathan Miller.  “Because unit sales were at about half the peak levels of 2005, overall prices continued to slip.  Lower unit sales resulted from a weak employment picture and conservative mortgage lending.  There was a drop in unit sales and prices in the attached housing market sector as a result of the expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit. In contrast, detached property prices edged higher as unit sales remained flat.”

Here are some of the key year end housing metrics:

Based on RBI figures, Miller identifies four key characteristics of the Baltimore metro housing market.  According to Miller:

  • Units sold slipped in 2010 due to weak economic fundamentals. Unemployment and tight credit were a challenge for the regional housing market this past year.  There were 23,033 units sold in 2010, 2.8 percent fewer than the 2009 total of 23,693 yet 1.4 percent above the 2008 total of 22,719.  The units sold total in 2010 was 47.2 percent below the 2005 peak of 43,606, to be considered an anomaly, largely a product of the global credit boom.
  • FHA financing led the way in 2010, but cash purchases increased market share.  One of the key stumbling blocks to a housing recovery nationwide has been the unusually tight underwriting restrictions maintained by mortgage lenders.  The federal government, through a growing reliance on The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), has played an important role in providing many homebuyers access to mortgage financing accounting for 37.3 percent of all sales in 2010.  However, cash home purchases, driven by foreclosure activity and the challenging lending environment, represented 20.1 percent of all sales in 2010, up from 14.4 percent in 2009.
  • Homes sold faster in 2010 yet negotiability between buyer and seller remained unchanged.  The average number of days on market was 108, nearly two weeks less than the 121 day average of 2009 and 2008.  The reduced competition from lower inventory levels helped properties sell faster, but still took longer than the 70 day annual average for the decade.  It was not enough to change the negotiability of a listing or average listing discount—the difference between the original list price and selling price—which remained essentially unchanged at 4.1 percent in 2010.
  • Detached housing outperformed attached housing in both price and sales. While the overall average sales price of a Baltimore metro area home sale slipped 1 percent to $274,406 in 2010 from $277,044 in 2009, there was disparity between detached and attached property types as a result of the tax credit expiration in mid-2010.  Detached residential properties saw nominal year-over-year change in both average sales price and units sold.  The attached property market in 2010 saw a 6.3 percent year-over-year average decline in sales price and 5.6 percent decline in number of sales as first-time buyer participation returned to more normal levels. In 2009 there was an additional demand for attached property driven by first-time buyers, largely due to the lower price points of attached homes.

2010 Year End detailed reports for all counties in the RBI region 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 Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Miller is available for comment on this year’s RBI data and market results.  Interview requests can be sent to Tina McCormack at or 301-585-5034.

Baltimore Metro Area, market analysis, press release, Year-End Stats
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