Inventory Absorption Continues in Baltimore Metro with Most July Contracts in Six Years

Posted on August 10, 2012 by Corey Hart



Back-to-back months of historic lows for new listings

Rockville, MD – (August 10, 2012) – The following analysis of the Baltimore, MD Metro Area housing market has been prepared by RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI), and is based on July 2012 MRIS housing data.

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Demand in the Baltimore Metro housing market remains strong into the summer months as evidenced by consistent growth in sales and new contracts. At the same time, the inventory of active listings continues to decline, perhaps an indication that economic uncertainty is keeping many potential sellers in their homes. The increased sales activity coupled with the diminishing supply is putting upward pressure on area home prices. The median sale price in the Baltimore Metro region is $25,000 higher than this time last year, and all jurisdictions in the region posted year-over-year median sale price gains for the second straight month. Townhome price gains have consistently outpaced detached-homes and condos over the past eight months, while the condo market has led all property segments in new contract growth over the past four months.


Sales are up, highest July-level in three years; Condos edge out detached properties in year-over-year growth.  There were 2,322 sales in July in the Baltimore Metro Area, 6.7 percent higher than this time last year, and the highest-July level since 2009. The number of sales declined 9.5 percent from last month, however this is in line with seasonal norms, and lower than the 10-year average June to July change of -12.0 percent. The condo market posted the strongest growth in sales, up 15.2 percent from this time last year. Sales of detached homes were 11.1 percent higher than July 2011, and townhomes sales declined 2.8 percent from a year ago. While condos sales accelerated in July, detached homes still accounted for 58.4 percent of the total sales in the metro area compared to 10.4 percent for condos.


Median sale prices are unchanged from last month, but are up $25K from last year. At $250,000, the median home price in the Baltimore Metro Area remained unchanged from June 2012, but is 11.1 percent higher than July 2011, the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year growth. Price trends are generally flat between June and July in the region with a 10-year average change of only 0.3 percent. For the second straight month, all jurisdictions within the metro area had year-over-year median sale price gains. Price increases were most pronounced in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, which had annual price appreciation of 40.6 and 13.8 percent respectively. Townhomes led median price growth for the eighth consecutive month, up 6.7 percent from July 2011 to $178,000, an $11,125 increase. At $325,000, the median sale price for detached homes rose 6.6 percent, a $20,050 increase. The median sales price for condos declined 1.6 percent from this time last year to $179,850, a $2,900 decline.


The region had the highest number of new contracts signed in July in six years. There were 2,883 new contracts signed in July in the Baltimore Metro Area, 19.8 percent higher than July 2011, and the highest July total since 2006. There were 310 contracts signed for condo units, a 44.9 percent spike from the 214 signed last July. Contracts for detached homes rose 15.7 percent from last year to 1,573, and townhome contracts increased 19.9 percent to 1,000. 


Shrinking pattern for active listings persists; back-to-back months of historic lows for new listings. There were 12,242 active listings at the end of July in the Baltimore Metro Area, 27.2 percent lower than this time last year, and the eighth consecutive year-over-year decline exceeding 20 percent. The 3,452 new listings entered in July represent a 6.0 percent decline from July 2011, and the lowest July-level on record with metro-wide data available back to 1997. The shrinking inventory of homes for sale is having an impact on the market as evidenced by the lowest July-level median days-on-market since 2006 (45 days), and the highest July-level sale-to-list-price ratio since 2008 (92.2 percent).

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
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