Double-Digit Gains in New Listing Activity in Baltimore Metro

Posted on September 10, 2013 by Corey Hart



Pace of inventory decline slows, even as sales growth continues


Demand remained strong in the Baltimore Metro Region in August.  The number of sales and pending contracts increased.  Inventories continue to decline, but the pace has slowed to only a single digit year-over year decrease for the second consecutive month.  The decline in overall inventories has been mitigated by the continuing trend of increased new listing activity. Demand for condo and townhome properties continues to be strong.  Townhome sales drove the majority of the increases in both sales and new contracts.  Smaller units had the highest increase in median sales price, with units less than 800 square increasing by 20.5 percent, or four times the 5.0 percent increase for all units.  The overall high demand and low supply contributed to median sale price gains within the region and resulted in the highest August-level median sales price in since 2008.  The median days-on-market continues to be historically low, and is now at its lowest August-level in eight years.  Rising prices and strong demand should continue to encourage new sellers to enter the market, increasing new listings and helping to meet pent up demand.

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Double-digit sales growth for tenth time in twelve months; highest August-level in six years.  There were 2,805 sales in the Baltimore Metro Region in August, an increase of 16.6 percent from this time last year.  This is the highest August total since 2007, and the fifth consecutive double-digit year-over-year gain for sales.  The number of sales decreased 6.7 percent from last month, sharper than the 10-year average July to August decrease of 0.6 percent.  However, the number of condo sales increased from last month and were the only property segment do so.  Condo properties also led all property segments in year-over-year sales growth, increasing 30.0 percent from August 2012.  The lower price-points and smaller unit size of condos may be attractive to first time homebuyers and investors, contributing to the strong demand.  Sales of townhomes rose 15.9 percent from last year while sales of detached homes increased 14.5 percent.


Median sales price increases steadily; highest August-level in five years.  At $252,000, the median sales price in the Baltimore Metro Region is 5.0 percent higher than this time last year, an increase of over $12,000.  This is the highest August-level median sale price in the region since 2008.  Condos had the highest growth rate of all property segments with 15.2 percent jump from August 2012, a gain of $27,000 to $205,000.  The median price of townhomes increased 6.0 percent from last year to $193,000, an increase of $11,000.  At $325,000, the median sales price for detached homes increased by $11,500, or 3.7 percent, from last year.  Among the jurisdictions in the region, Baltimore City had the highest growth rate, with a 12.6 percent increase from August 2012.  The year-to-date median sale price for the region now stands at $242,500, 5.0 percent higher than the $231,100 over the same time last year.


New contracts increase modestly.  There were 2,919 new contracts signed in August, an increase of 4.6 percent, or 128 contracts, from this time last year.  Condos continue to have the highest growth rate of the property segments and increased 16.1 percent from a year ago.  New contracts on townhomes and single-family detached homes rose 7.2 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, from a year ago.


Active inventory continues to decline despite double-digit increases in new listings. There were 11,246 active listings in the Baltimore Metro Region at the end of August, a drop of more than 720 listings from this time last year.  This is the lowest August-level of active listings for the region since 2005.  All property segments continue to post inventory declines and remain at 8-year lows for the month of August.  While the inventory level represents a 6.0 percent decrease from this time last year, the pace of the decline is slowing and is the mildest year-over-year decrease in two years.  Increases in new listings over the past several months are contributing to the slower decline.  There were 4,072 new listings in August, 16.7 percent more than in August 2012.  This is the fifth consecutive month of double-digit growth for this indicator.  Detached homes led all property segments in new listing growth, rising 19.6 percent from last August.  New listings of townhomes rose 14.9 percent and those for condos rose 8.9 percent from this time last year.  At 31 days, the median days-on-market was at the lowest August-level since 2005.  A significant portion of new listings may be going to contract the same month they are listed and, thus, not adding to the overall inventory count heading into September.

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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