Inventory gains continue in January in the Baltimore Metro area

Posted on February 10, 2014 by Corey Hart



Winter weather dampens buyer activity; Inventory gains across all property segments


The Baltimore Metro Area was off to an unusually cold and snowy start, likely affecting buyer activity in the region.  Closed sales decreased 2.0 percent from last January driven by declines in single-family detached home and townhome sales.  New contracts increased modestly from last year, rising 1.6 percent.  Seller activity continues to improve and both active listings and new listings increased from January 2013.  Active listings rose 6.0 percent from this time last year, led by active listings for single-family detached homes.  Inventory has now risen from the prior year for four consecutive months.  Even with this increase, supply remains tight and is only 49.3 percent of its 2008 peak level.  New listings increased 3.7 percent from last year which is a milder increase than in prior months.  The median sales price in the region increased 0.4 percent from last January, led by growth in condo properties and townhomes.  While sellers are returning to the market, weather may dampen buyer activity in the remaining winter months.

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Decrease in closed sales from last year driven by single-family detached homes and townhomes.  There were 1,508 closed sales in the Baltimore Metro Region in January, 2.0 percent, or 30 sales, fewer than last year.  January’s cold and unsettled weather likely played a role in this decline, particularly as compared to last year which was relatively mild.  The number of sales decreased 30.3 percent from last month, which is a sharper decline than the 10-year average December to January change of -25.7 percent.  Sales of condo properties increased 16.9 percent, or by 26 sales, and were the only property segment to have more sales than this time last year.  Sales of townhomes decreased 2.1 percent from last year.  Single-family detached homes had the largest decrease, falling 5.5 percent from January 2013. 


Mild increase in median sales price; highest January-level since 2010.  At $210,000, the median sales price in the Baltimore Metro Region is 0.4 percent higher than this time last year, an increase of $750.  Single-family detached homes were the only property segment to have a lower median sales price than this time last year, decreasing 1.5 percent or by $4,000.  Townhomes had the highest growth rate of all property segments increasing 6.7 percent from January 2013 for a gain of $10,000.  The median price of condo properties increased by nearly as much, rising 6.6 percent from last January for a gain of $11,500. 

Of the jurisdictions, Baltimore City had the highest growth in median sales price, increasing 22.6 percent from January 2013.  Only Harford County and Howard County had year-over-year sales price declines.


Mild increase in new contracts as compared last year driven by condos and single-family homes.  There were 2,390 new contracts signed in January, an increase of 1.6 percent, or 37 contracts, from January 2013.  New contracts increased 30.2 percent from last month, which is a sharper increase than the ten-year average December to January change of 23.8 percent.  New contracts for condo properties led the property segments in growth, rising 9.8 percent from last year.  New contracts for single-family detached homes increased 1.4 percent.  Townhomes were the only property segment to have fewer new contracts than last year, falling 0.4 percent, or by 4 contracts, from a year ago. 


Fourth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in active listings.  Active listings in the Baltimore Metro Region increased 6.0 percent from this time last year to 9,952 listings at the end of January.  This is an increase of 566 listings, and the fourth consecutive month of increases for this indicator.  Despite this rise, active listings are 50.7 percent lower than their July 2008 peak.  Active listings for single-family homes had the sharpest increase, rising 7.2 percent from last January.  Active listings for townhomes increased 5.1 percent, while those for condo properties increased 2.0 percent.  

Gains in new listings have contributed to the increase in active listings, but the pace of growth slowed.  There were 3,120 new listings in January, which is an increase of 3.7 percent from last year.  This is the tenth consecutive month of growth for this indicator.  Townhomes led all property segments in new listing growth, rising 7.7 percent from last January.  New listings of condo properties increased 4.0 percent and those for single-family homes increased 1.1 percent from this time last year.  At 50 days, the median days-on-market is one day lower than last year and the lowest January-level in eight 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.

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