Mild Increase in Contract Activity in Baltimore Metro

Posted on November 11, 2013 by Corey Hart



Increase in active listings for all property segments


Demand in the Baltimore Metro Region remained steady in October, with sales and pending contracts increasing 15.2 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively, from last October.  Total inventory increased from the prior year for the first time in over two years, with increases in all property segments.  Despite the rise, total inventory is still at historic lows and is only 58.6 percent of its 2008 peak level.  New listings increased 26.5 percent from last October and contributed to the increase in total inventory.  The median sale price increased by 3.6 percent from this time last year and was the 21st consecutive increase for this indicator.  Townhomes led the growth in closed sales, while condo properties led the growth in median sale price.

  Smaller units had strong growth in median sale price and closed sales, with units less than 800 square feet having a 7.8 percent increase in median sale price and a 78.6 percent increase in closed sales.  But they continue to be a small part of the market accounting for 2.2 percent of all sales.  The median-days-on market remains low, at 39 days.  While inventory remains low, the increase in active listings and new listings may temper the rate of growth for sale prices.

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Townhomes lead in sales growth; seven consecutive month of double-digit sales growth for the region.  There were 2,266 sales in the Baltimore Metro Region in October, 15.2 percent more than this time last year. This  is the highest October-level for sales since 2009 for all property segments and the seventh month in a row of double-digit year-over-year gain for sales.  While the number of sales decreased 5.9 percent from last month, the decline is in line with seasonal patterns.  The 10-year average September to October change is -6.3 percent.  Townhomes led all property segments in year-over-year sales growth, increasing 20.6 percent from October 2012.  Sales of condo properties rose 17.9 percent from last year.  Sales of single-family detached homes increased 11.2 percent.


Steady increases in median sale prices for most of the region.  At $238,250, the median sales price in the Baltimore Metro Region is 3.6 percent higher than this time last year, an increase of $8,350.  This indicator has increased now for 21 consecutive months with an average increase of 4.9 percent.  As compared to last year, condos had the highest growth rate of all property segments increasing 8.1 percent, for a gain of $15,000, to $200,000.  The median price of townhomes increased 7.4 percent from last October to $174,000, representing a gain of $12,000.  At $306,000, the median sales price for single-family detached homes increased by $16,000, or 5.5 percent, from last year. 

Among the jurisdictions in the region, Baltimore City had the highest growth rate, increasing 18.8 percent from last October.  This was the fourth consecutive double-digit increase for this indicator for Baltimore City.  The year-to-date median sale price for the region as a whole increased to $242,000 from $230,100 for a 5.2 percent gain from the same period last year.


Mild increase in new contracts for all property segments compared to last year.  There were 2,670 new contracts signed in October, an increase of 2.6 percent, or 68 contracts, from this time last year.  This is the highest October-level since 2009.  New contracts increased 0.6 percent from last month, which is lower than the ten-year average September to October change of 2.7 percent.  Single-family detached homes had the highest growth rate in new contracts and increased 3.6 percent, or by 49 contracts, from a year ago.  New contracts for townhomes increased 1.6 percent, while condos increased 1.4 percent from a year ago.


Increase in active listings and continued double-digit increases in new inventory.  Active listings in the Baltimore Metro Region increased 2.5 percent from this time last year to 11,825 listings at the end of October.  This is an increase of 294 listings, and the first year-over-year in over two years.  Despite this increase, active listings are 41.4 percent lower than their July 2008 peak.  Active listings for townhomes increased 5.0 percent, or by 186 listings, from last October and led all property segments in growth.  Active listings for condo properties and single-family detached homes increased 3.0 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.  Gains in new listings have contributed to the increase in active listings.  There were 4,052 new listings in October, which is an increase of 26.5 percent from last year.  This is the seventh consecutive month of double-digit growth for this indicator, evidence that sellers are becoming more confident in the market.  Townhomes led all property segments in new listing growth, rising 28.6 percent from last October.  New listings of single-family detached homes rose nearly as much, increasing 27.9 percent.  New listings for condo properties increased 11.6 percent from this time last year.  At 39 days, the median days-on-market is 9 days lower than last year and the lowest October-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.

About RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC

RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI) is a primary source of real estate data, analytics and business intelligence for real estate professionals with business interests in the Mid-Atlantic region. The full monthly data report for all jurisdictions in the MRIS region, along with interactive charts and graphics, can be found at RBI is the only company in the Mid-Atlantic region that provides timely, online access to statistical information directly from the MRIS Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Visit or to learn more.

About the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University

The Center for Regional Analysis conducts research and analytical studies on economic, fiscal, demographic, housing, and social and policy issues related to the current and future growth of the Virginia, Maryland, and DC areas. Through its range of research and programs — major economic impact studies, economic forecasts, fiscal analyses, conferences and seminars, publications, information services, and data products — the Center’s activities strengthen decision-making by businesses, governments, and institutions throughout the Greater Washington region.  Visit to learn more.

Baltimore Metro Area, market analysis, press release
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