Most March home sales since 2007 in the Baltimore area

Posted on April 10, 2015 by Corey Hart



Inventories continue to rise; Overall prices largely unchanged

Rockville, MD – (March 10, 2015) – The following analysis of the Baltimore Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) and is based on March 2015 MRIS housing data.


The Baltimore Metro housing market saw large increases in sales, new contracts and inventories compared to March 2014, with a slight increase in prices.  Closed sales of 2,532 increased by 23.6% from March 2014 and by 36.1% compared to February 2015.  The number of new contracts increased 19.6% to 3,861 from March 2014, and are at their highest March level and highest overall number since March 2006. The median sales price in March in the Baltimore Metro area was $230,075, up a slight $2,575 or 1.1% from a year earlier and up $5,075 compared to last month.  This was the highest March median sales price since 2009.  The $270,000 median sales price for “non-distressed” sales (those not involving a short sale or foreclosures) increased $10,000 from the prior month and $13,000 from the prior year. Total sold dollar volume across the Baltimore Metro region in March was nearly $669 million, which is up 22% percent from last year.

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Despite robust sales, inventories are still higher than March last year, up 8% to 11,512.  Inventories still remain slightly below the 5-year average and well below the 10-year average for this time of year.  New listings are up 9.8% to 4,907.  Median days on market are at 66, increasing by 4 days compared to March 2014, but are down one day from February 2014 and remain below historical averages of 75 days.

The 594 REO (foreclosure) sales in March are nearly double those seen in March 2014, are the highest number in the last 10 years, and comprise 23.5% of all closed sales.   The 101 short sales are down 37.7% compared to March 2014, and comprise 4% of total closed sales. Foreclosure activity continues to heavily impact the Baltimore City market, with 224 REO sales in March.  The number of REO sales were up were up 72.3% compared to March 2014, and accounted for more than one-third of all homes sold in the city.  The median sales price for REO sales in Baltimore City was $38,500, compared to $166,250 for non-distressed sales.  In Baltimore County, REO sales accounted for 23% of all sales, and the differential in median sales price between REO properties and non-distressed properties was nearly double at $122,025 compared to $238,700.


Year-over-year sales continue to increase, best March since 2007.  Closed sales once again increased in March, with a year-over-year rise of 23.6% or 484 sales, and are up 671 sales or 36.1% over February 2015.  There were a total of 2,532 sales, the highest March since 2007.  In March 2015, all categories had sales increases, led by townhomes which increased by 26.3% or 195 units.  Single-family detached increased by 25.4% or 270 units, and condos grew by 7.8% or 19 units.  During the most recent three-year period, the number of closed sales increased year-over-year in all but four non-consecutive months.  March sales easily exceeded both the 5-year and 10-year averages.


New contracts rise for tenth straight month, double-digit increases in all categories.  The number of new contracts increased 19.6% from March of 2014 to a total of 3,861, an increase of 634.  New contracts have now risen year-over-year for ten consecutive months and March contracts are at the highest level since March 2006.  Additionally, this March was the single best month for new contracts since March of 2006.  For the sixth month in row, all property segments had more contracts than the prior year, with townhomes leading the way with a 22.6% increase, or 261 units.  The number of new contracts for single-family detached grew by 18.1%, or 308 units compared to March 2014, while contracts for condo properties increased 17.9% or 65 units.  The month-over-month increase in new contracts was 27.1%, slightly below the 5-year average of 29.7% and the 10-year average of 29%.


Median sales prices up 2.3% compared to February 2015.  Single-family detached median sales prices dipped 5% to $285,000 compared to March 2014, townhomes experienced a 1% decline in median sales price to $163,700, while condos slipped 4% to $180,000.  However, the median sales price for a non-bank-mediated home increased $13,000 or 5.1% to $270,000.  Overall, month-over-month prices rose by 2.3%, with the largest increase in the townhomes segment which was up $13,750 or 9.2%.  Single-family detached rose by 3.6% or $10,000 compared to February 2015, while condos dropped slightly by 2.7% to $180,000.

Howard County continues to have the highest median sales price at $365,162, which is down 8.7% from March 2014 on a 24.4% increase in the number of sales to 270.  The largest increase in median sales price was in Harford County, which experienced a 9.5% increase to $230,000, coupled with a 19% increase in volume over the prior March with 219 sales.  Anne Arundel County saw a slight 0.5% increase in the median sales price to $299,450 with 556 closed sales, a 23.8% increase over the prior year. Carroll County had an 18.8% increase in the number of sales to 158, but experienced a 2.2% decline in median sales price to $259,250.  Baltimore County saw a 4.2% increase in median sales price from $200,000 to $208,350 with a 22.6% increase in volume to 688 units, while Baltimore City saw a significant 24% decline in the median sales price from $115,150 to $87,500 with a 27.2% increase in volume to 641 sales.


Active listings, new listings and days-on-market all increase.  Active listings continue to rise and have now increased from the prior year for 18 consecutive months.  There were 11,512 active listings at the end of March, which is an 8% increase or 854 units compared to last March.  All property segments have again experienced year-over-year inventory growth.  For the fifth month in a row, condos had the highest percentage increase in the number of listings at 14.1% or 141 units.  Townhomes increased by 9.6%, or 329 listings, and single-family detached listings grew by 6.2% or 384 listings.  The percentage of bank-mediated inventory as a percentage of total inventory has increased to 18% from 16.4% in March of 2014 and 15.6% in March of 2013.

There were also more new listings in March 2015 compared to last year, with an overall increase of 437 new listings, a 9.8% increase to 4,907.  New listings for condos jumped by the largest percentage, at 15.8% or 72 units, followed by townhomes which increased by 9.6% or 148 units, while single-family detached listings grew by 8.8% or 217 units.  There have now been year-over-year increases in the number of new listings for 24 consecutive months, and the number of new listings has exceeded the 5-year average of 4,502 and is approaching the 10-year average of 5,047.

At 66 days, the median days-on-market (DOM) increased by 4 days over March 2014, but remains slightly below both the 5-year and 10-year averages of 74 and 76 days respectively.  Single-family detached have a median DOM of 80 days, which is down from 77 days last month and 70 days last year.  Condos have a median DOM of 57 compared to last month’s 62 days and last year’s 52 days.  Townhomes have a median DOM of 50 compared to 57 for last month and 54 last year. 


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 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 in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Monthly reports 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 MLS.

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

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