Big gains in Baltimore area contracts and sales in October

Posted on November 07, 2014 by Corey Hart



New contract activity hits highest October-level in nine years; REO listings and sales growth continues


The Baltimore Metro Area housing market had its highest year-over-year increase in closed sales since last fall, increasing 13.1 percent.  Every jurisdiction in the region had more closed sales than in last October, with the largest increases in Baltimore City (+21.2 percent) and Carroll County (+21.1 percent).  New pending contracts for the region also increased from last year, rising 16.6 percent.  Bank-owned (REO) properties played a role in this growth as new contracts for REO listings more than doubled compared to last October. The median sales price for the region was virtually unchanged, rising only 0.3 percent, though pricing for non-distressed properties rose 4.3 percent. The number of active listings increased 20.9 percent, bringing inventory to 70.8 percent of its peak-level.  New listings contributed to these gains, rising 11.7 percent from last year.

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Double-digit growth in closed sales; highest October-level in eight years.  In October, the number of closed sales increased 13.1 percent, or by 296 sales, to 2,562 sales.  This is the third month of year-over-year gains and the highest October-total since 2006.  All property segments had more sales than in last year.  Single-family detached home sales had the highest growth, rising by 19.5 percent, or by 230 sales, from last October.  Closed sales for townhomes increased 6.3 percent, or by 51 sales, from last year.  The number of sales of condo properties increased 5.4 percent or by 15 sales.  As compared to last month, the number of sales increased 1.9 percent, which is a stronger increase than is typically seen between September and October, when closed sales usually begin to slow.  The 10-year average September to October change is -6.0 percent.

Bank-owned (REO) sales have continued to increase in the Baltimore Metro area compared to 2013. The 434 REO sales in October represented a 73.6 percent increase compared to last year. The share of October sales that were REO was 16.9 percent, representing the highest proportion since March 2011. While Baltimore City’s 578 closed sales made up only 23 percent of all sales in the region, its 173 REO sales accounted for 40 percent of the region’s 434 REO sales. Within Baltimore City, 29.9 percent of October sales were REO, likely the primary reason why the median sales price for the city was 13.2 percent lower than October 2013, when REO properties made up only 20 percent of sales.


Prices flat overall; non-distressed sales prices up 4.3 percent.   At $239,000, the median sales price for the region increased 0.3 percent, or by $750, from last year.  The increased proportion of REO sales influenced the flat price movement, as the median sales price for REO properties was only $87,500.  The median sales price for non-distressed properties actually climbed 4.3 percent year-over-year to $273,250.

The median sales price for townhomes decreased 3.5 percent to $167,950 and had the sharpest decline.  At $298,000, the median sales price for single-family detached homes decreased 2.6 percent, or by $8,000.  The median sales price for condo properties decreased 0.5 percent, or by $1,050, from last October.

Of the jurisdictions in the region, Baltimore County had the highest median sales price growth and increased 7.6 percent from last year.  The median sales price increased in Carroll County (+7.5 percent) and Howard County (+5.7 percent) from October 2013 and were the only other jurisdictions that had gains.  The year-to-date median sales price for the region of $242,906 is virtually unchanged from the same period last year.  The year-to-date median sales price for non-distressed listings of $275,000 is 1.9% higher than the $270,000 for non-distressed sales.


Fifth straight month of year-over-year gains; highest October-level since 2005.  There were 3,113 new contracts signed in October, which is an increase of 16.6 percent, or 443 contracts, from last year.  This is the highest year-over-year growth since mid-2013 and the highest October-total in nine years.  New contracts for non-distressed properties were up 10.9 percent versus October 2013. New contracts for REO properties more than doubled, jumping from 283 in October 2013 to 615 this October. Their percentage of all contracts increased from 10.6 percent to 19.8 percent.

Townhomes led the property segments in growth, rising 19.9 percent, or by 189 contracts, from last year.  New contracts for single-family detached homes increased 15.1 percent, or by 216 contracts, from last October, while those for condo properties increased 12.9 percent, or by 38 contracts.  As compared to last month, new contracts increased 10.8 percent which is a sharper increase than the ten-year average September to October change of 3.1 percent.


Highest October-level of active listings since 2011; double-digit increases in new listings for all segments.  The number of active listings increased 20.9 percent, or by 2,468 listings, from last year to 14,293 listings.  This is the 13th consecutive month of year-over-year increases with double-digit gains for the past eight months. Inventory reached its highest October-total in three years and 70.8 percent of its 2008 peak.  Among the property segments, active listings of single-family detached homes continue to have the highest year-over-year growth. In October, inventory of single-family detached homes increased 22.2 percent, or by 1,531 listings, from last year.  Inventory of condo properties increased 21.3 percent, or by 227 listings, from last year and inventory of townhomes increased 18.3 percent or by 710 listings.

New listings also had a double-digit increase, rising 11.7 percent, or by 474 listings, from last year for a total of 4,526 listings.  New listings have now increased from the prior year for 19 consecutive months and reached their highest October-total since 2007.  Condos led all property segments in growth, rising 20.2 percent, or by 74 listings, from last October.  New listings for townhomes increased 10.9 percent, or by 166 listings, from last year.  Those for single-family detached homes increased 10.8 percent, or by 235 listings, as compared to last year.  The median days-on-market is 50 days.  While this is 11 days more than last year, homes are selling more quickly than the 10-year average October-level of 57 days.



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 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 or 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 to learn more.


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