Low inventories continue to drive up Baltimore area prices in February

Posted on March 12, 2018 by Corey Hart
12

Mar

2018

Baltimore Metro median sales price of $245,000 sets new February record; Inventories decline for 30th consecutive month; Median days-on-market declines by 27% year over year.

Rockville, MD – (March 12, 2018) – The following analysis of the Baltimore Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of MarketStats by ShowingTime and is based on February 2018 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report

OVERVIEW

  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of $245,000 was up 6.5% or $15,000 from last year and up 2.5% or $6,000 compared to last month.
  • Sales volume across the Baltimore Metro area was nearly $629 million, up 6.8% from last year.
  • Closed sales of 2,252 were up 1.9% compared to both last year and last month.
  • New contract activity of 3,414 was down 3.5% from last year but up 8.3% from last month.
  • There were 3,991 new listings, down 1.3% from last year but up 16.3% from last month.
  • Active listings declined by 12.7% to 7,794.   This is the 30th consecutive month of declining year-over-year inventory levels and inventory levels are now at about two-thirds of the 10-year average.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale in February was 95.2%, up from last year’s 94.3%.  This is easily the highest February level of the last ten years.
  • The median days-on-market was 41 days, down 15 days compared to last year but up three days from last month.  This is, by far, the lowest February DOM.


 

  • The February overall regional median sales price of $245,000 is up 6.5% or $15,000 from last year and is up 2.5% or $6,000 from last month.  This is the highest February price of the decade, and with the exception of a slight 0.26% decline in September 2017, year-over-year prices have increased for the last 24 months.
  • Compared to last year, townhome prices were up 11.3% to 180,000, single-family detached prices were up 9.8% to $310,000, and condo prices were up 2.8% to $200,000.
  • Prices are above the 5-year average of $230,400 and the 10-year average of $224,530.
  • Prices are 19.3% above the February 2011 low of $205,350.
  • Howard County remains the most expensive area in the region, with a February median sales price of $382,500, a 1.3% increase compared to last year.
  • Baltimore City is still the most affordable area in the region, with a February median sales price of $108,575, up 10.7% from last year and by far the largest increase in the region.
  • All jurisdictions saw increases in median sales price this month.
  • For the year to date, regional prices are up 3.5% to $240,000.


 

  • There were 2,252 closed sales in February, up 1.9% compared to last year and also up 1.9% from last month.  
  • Compared to last year, condo sales were up 3.0% to 237.  Townhome sales were up 2.2% to 877 and single-family detached sales were up 1.3% to 1,138. 
  • February sales were well above the 5-year average of 2,022 and the 10-year average of 1,682.
  • February sales were almost double the 2009 low of 1,178.
  • Anne Arundel County saw the largest percentage increase in closed sales compared to last year (+14.8% to 528).  Harford County (+2.5% to 209), Baltimore County (+1.3% to 622) and Howard County (+0.5% to 219) also saw increases.
  • Baltimore City (-5.7% to 560) and Carroll County (-5.8% to 114) both saw declines in sales.
  • For the year to date, regional closed sales are up 1.4% to 4,559.


 

  • There were 3,414 new pending sales in February, down 3.5% compared to last year but up 8.3% compared to last month. 
  • The number of new pending townhome sales increased 5.8% to 1,359 and pending condo sales rose by 5.4% to 354.  New pending sales of single-family detached saw the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year declines, dropping a significant 11.2% to 1,701.
  • Pending contracts are above the 5-year average of 3,190 and the 10-year average of 2,634.
  • The number of new pending contracts in February was 120.1% more than the 10-year market low seen in February 2009 of 1,551.
  • Carroll County (+6.9% to 202) and Harford County (+0.3% to 335) saw increased pending sales. The other jurisdictions all saw declines – Howard County (-1.5% to 333), Anne Arundel County (-2.4% to 782), Baltimore City (-3.7% to 892) and Baltimore County (-8.4% to 870).


 

  • There were 3,991 new listings added in February, down 1.3% from last year, but up 16.3% compared to last month.  
  • While new townhome listings rose 9.0% to 1,613, new condo listings dropped 1.0% to 389 and single-family detached listings decreased 8.5% to 1,987.
  • New listings are above both the 5-year average of 3,760 and the 10-year average of 3,482.
  • The number of new February listings was up 37.1% compared to the 2010 market low of 2,912.
  • Across the region, new listings increased in Baltimore City, (+9.1% to 1,122), in Carroll County, (+ 8.9% to 232), and in Howard County (+5.5% to 403). 
  • New listings declined in Baltimore County (-5.0% to 1,001), Harford County (-9.8% to 351) and in Anne Arundel County (-9.9% to 882).
  • For the year to date, new listings across the region are down 3.1% to 7,428.


 

  • Inventories of 7,794 dropped by 12.7% compared to last year and were down just 10 units or 0.1% from last month.   This was the lowest monthly level of inventory since August 2005 and there have been double-digit declines in inventory levels for 20 consecutive months.
  • Condo inventories were down 19.4% to 694, single-family detached inventories were down 16.8% to 4,144 and townhome inventories were down 4.3% to 2,955.
  • Inventories are well below both the 5-yr average of 9,717 and the 10-yr average of 11,757.
  • February inventories are less than half the 16,978 seen in 2009.
  • All jurisdictions in the region showed declines in active listings during February, with the smallest percentage decline of 0.9% in Baltimore City to 2,579 active listings, and the largest percentage decline of 22.8% in Harford County to 687 active listings.


 

  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for February was 95.2%, up from last year’s 94.3%, and also up from last month’s 94.6%.  This was easily the highest February level in a decade.
  • Townhomes have a SP to OLP ratio of 94.8% and both single-family detached homes and condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 95.5%.
  • The February SP to OLP ratio is well above both the 5-year average of 93.3% and the 10-year average of 91.0%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest February average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2011 when it was 86.5%, and the previous high was last February when it was 94.3%.
  • The highest SP to OLP ratio is in Howard County, where homes sold at 96.6% of their original listing price in February.  It was up from last year’s 95.2%.
  • The lowest SP to OLP ratio is still in Baltimore City, where it was 91.9%, down just slightly from last year’s 92.0%.  Baltimore City is the only jurisdiction where the SP to OLP ratio dropped this month.
  • For the year to date, SP to OLP has increased from 94.4% last year to 95.6% this year.


 

  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in February in the Baltimore Metro region was 41 days, down a significant 15 days from last year but up three days from last month. This is the lowest February DOM of the last decade.
  • Townhomes have a median DOM of 33, condos have a median DOM of 45, and single-family detached have a median DOM of 48.
  • February’s median DOM of 41 days is well below both the 5-year average of 58 days and the 10-year average of 73 days.
  • February’s median DOM of 41 days is slightly more than one-third of the peak DOM of 107 days in February 2009.
  • Harford County had the highest median DOM of 52 days, down from 60 days last year.
  • Baltimore County had the lowest median DOM in the region of 31 days, down significantly from 50 days last year.
  • For the year-to-date, median DOM is down to 40 days from 50 days last year.


 

About the Baltimore 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 ShowingTime’s proprietary database. 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. Data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

About Bright MLS

The Bright MLS real estate service area spans 40,000 square miles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. As a leading Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Bright serves approximately 85,000 real estate professionals who in turn serve over 20 million consumers. For more information, please visit www.brightmls.com.

About Elliot Eisenberg

Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is the Chief Economist of GraphsandLaughs, LLC, a firm specializing in economic consulting and data analysis.  He is a frequent speaker on topics including: economic forecasts, economic impact of industries such as homebuilding and tourism, consequences of government regulation, economic development and other current economic issues. Dr. Eisenberg earned a B.A. in economics with first class honors from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a Masters and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University. Eisenberg was formerly a Senior Economist with the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.   He is a regularly featured guest on cable news programs, talk and public radio, writes a syndicated column and authors a daily 70 word commentary on the economy that is available at www.econ70.com.

baltimore metro, market analysis, press release
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