May Contracts Hit Seven-Year High In Baltimore Metro

Posted on June 10, 2013 by Corey Hart



Median days-on-market at a seven-year low


Market indicators continue to improve in the Baltimore Metro Region as we head into summer.  Sales and new pending contracts increased at double-digit rates for the second month in a row, and the median sales price resumed growth after falling flat last month.  The inventory of homes for sale remains at an 8-year May low across all property segments.  Despite the continual inventory shortage, new listings are showing signs of life and are up nearly 20 percent from this time last year, reflecting back-to-back months of double-digit growth for this indicator. 

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The condo market continues to show the most improvement from last year, leading all property segments in sales growth and median sales price gains.  Single-family homes edged out condos in new contract growth.  All property segments posted double-digit growth in sales and new contracts for the second month in a row, evidence that activity in the buyer market has improved considerably from last year.  This demand pressure is playing a role in the speed on market.  The median-days-on market for the region is now 26 days, the lowest level of any month since June 2006.

Double-digit sales growth continues, highest sales total the region has seen in nearly three years. There were 2,766 sales in the Baltimore Metro Region in May, a gain of 17.2 percent from this time last year, and the highest May sales total the region has seen in six years.  It is also the highest sales total for all months in nearly three years.  Sales are up 20.3 percent from last month, which is double the 10-year average, evidence of strong demand in the market.  For the fourth consecutive month, condos led all property segments in year-over-year sales growth, rising 27.4 percent from May 2012.  Sales of townhomes rose 22.0 percent from last year, and sales of single-family detached homes climbed 12.5 percent.


Median sales price growth resumes for the region, however prices are sluggish in several jurisdictions.  At $250,000, the median sales price in the Baltimore Metro Region is up 5.3 percent from May 2012, a gain of $12,500.  This is the highest May median sales price for the region in five years.  Condos led all property segments in terms of growth rate, rising 13.5 percent from this time last year, a gain of $25,000.  At $325,000 the median sales price for single-family detached properties climbed 8.4 percent from last year, also a gain of $25,000.  At $190,000, the median sales price for townhomes increased 7.3 from last May, a gain of $13,000.  At the jurisdiction level, Howard County led in growth, up 6.2 percent from last year.  Harford County was the only jurisdiction to post a decline in median sales price, falling 2.1 percent from May 2012.  The median sales price in Baltimore City and Carroll County remained unchanged from a year ago.  The year-to-date median sale price for the region as a whole went from $230,000 to $223,000, a gain of 3.1 percent.


Seven-year high for newly signed contracts.  Strong growth across all property segments.  There were 3,653 new contracts signed in May, up 18.4 percent from May 2012, the second straight month of double-digit growth.  The total contracts signed in May represent the highest the region has seen for any month since May 2006.  New contracts typically decline from April to May with the 10-year average change at -4.5 percent.  However there was a 1 percent increase in newly signed contracts from last month further evidence that buyers remain active in the market.  All property segments continue to post strong growth for this indicator.  New contracts on single-family detached homes rose 21.2 percent from last year, the sharpest year-over-year gain for this segment in 16 months.  New contracts for condos and townhomes rose 19.6 and 13.5 percent respectively.


8-year low for active listings across all property segments, however new listings continue to rise sharply. There were 10,959 active listings in the Baltimore Metro Region at the end of May, a drop of over 1,700 listings.  The inventory of homes for sale is now 46 percent lower than it’s July 2008 peak.  All property segments continue to be impacted by the shortage.  Townhome, condo, and single-family detached listings are at an 8-year low for the month of May.  Despite the continual decline in active listings, new listings are on the rise for the second month in a row.  There were 4,772 new listings in May, up 19.4 percent from this time last year, the sharpest gain of any month since April 2010.  All property segments posted similar growth rates.  New listings for single-family detached properties rose 19.5 percent from May 2012.  New listings for condos and townhomes both increased 19.3 percent.  The persistent decline of inventories concurrent with the recent surge in new listings indicates that demand in the market is absorbing the influx of inventory.  Based on the declining median days-on-market, it is possible that many of the new listings are going to contract the same month they are listed.  The median days-on-market for the region is now 26 days, 18 days lower than this time last year, and the lowest level of any month since June 2006.

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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