Sales up, DOM down in the Baltimore Metro area

Posted on August 10, 2015 by Corey Hart



Prices up slightly compared to last year

Rockville, MD – (August 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 July 2015 MRIS housing data.


In July, the Baltimore Metro housing market saw double-digit increases in sales and pending contracts, slight growth in in inventory levels, and a small increase in year-over-year median sales prices.  Closed sales of 3,623 increased by 23.0% from July 2014, although down 6.5% from last month.  The number of new contracts increased 15.7% from the prior year to 3,959, and reached the highest July level in a decade. The median July sales price of $259,900 was up $3,900 from July 2014, and unchanged from last month.  Total sold dollar volume across the Baltimore Metro region in July was nearly $1.1 billion, up 20.8% percent from last year.

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Starting in October 2013, active inventory across the region began to increase after 2½ years of year-over-year declines.  Inventory growth then began to steadily rise, reaching a high of 24.6% in September 2014 and has since declined steadily, to just 2.2% growth in July 2015.  Since the closed and pending sales are still showing double-digit increases, it appears that inventory levels may be on the verge of a decline. 

At the local level, Baltimore City’s housing market appears to be recovering from the civil unrest of April.  While its year-over-year pending sales change of 11.4% remains below the Metro region’s 15.7%, the gap is substantially smaller than it was in June, and much improved from May.


Year-over-year sales strong, all home types and jurisdictions enjoy double-digit growth.  July was the eighth consecutive month with a double-digit increase in year-over-year closed sales, with an increase of 23% or 678 sales.  This was the highest July sales level in a decade, with a total of 3,623 sales.  For the sixth straight month, all home types had growth in the number of closed sales, led by condos which increased by 29.9% to 382 sales, single-family detached which increased by 24.1% to 2,072 sales, and townhomes, which increased by 19.3% to 1,169 sales.  July sales are significantly more than the 5-year average of 2,814 and the 10-year average of 2,703.  Year-to-date, the 20,492 closed sales across the region are up 22.5% compared to 2014.  All jurisdictions have double-digit increases in the number of sales, both for the month of July and for the year-to-date.


New contract activity remains strong, best July in a decade.  The number of new contracts increased 15.7% to 3,959 new pending sales, an increase of 537 compared to July of 2014 and the highest July level in a decade.  New contracts have now risen year-over-year for 14 consecutive months, and for the tenth month in row, all property segments had more pending contracts than the prior year.  The number of new contracts for condos increased 21.1% to 431, while single-family detached rose by 18.6% to 2,214 and townhomes increased 9.6% to 1,314 compared to July 2014.  Compared to last month, single-family detached declined by 4.8%, townhomes declined 0.2%, and condos increased 1.2%.  New pending contracts exceeded both the 5-year average of 3,159 and the 10-year average of 2,784.  Across the region, new contracts of 26,964 are up 19.9% year-to-date compared to 2014 and all jurisdictions show double-digit increases in new pending contracts for both July and the year-to-date

The data indicates that the City of Baltimore was impacted by the civil unrest in late April.  Prior to May, Baltimore City had shown year-over-year gains comparable to, and often exceeding, those of the Metro region.  In May, Baltimore City pending contracts plunged relative to the Metro region.  In June, the gap narrowed slightly, and in July the gap narrowed yet again, with Baltimore City now showing an 11.4% increase in pending sales while the entire region had a 15.7% increase.  It appears that the impact of the unrest is substantially lessening as time goes by.


Median sales prices up 1.5% compared to last year, unchanged from last month.  Median sales prices rose a slight 1.5% to $259,900 compared to July 2014.  While condos appreciated by 1.1% to $207,250 and single-family detached increased 0.6% to $325,000, townhomes decreased 3.0% to $190,000 compared to last year.  Overall median and single-family detached prices remained the same as last month, condo prices rose 3.9% and townhomes dipped 5.0% compared to June 2015.  Median prices slightly exceed the 5-year average of $250,992 but are right at the 10-year average of $259,997.

The median sales price in Howard County increased 5.3% to $439,950 on 444 sales, which was a 25.1% jump over July 2014.  The median sales price in Anne Arundel County dropped by 1.9% to $319,000 on 815 transactions, which was a 20.7% increase in the number of sales compared to last year.  Carroll County saw $3,700 increase in median sales price to $298,700, on 25 more sales, a 13.7% increase.  The median sales price in Harford County rose $22,684 to $255,000 on 394 closed sales, which was an increase of 32.2%.  Baltimore County saw a slight 1.2% decrease in median sales price to $225,000 on a 27% increase in sales to 1,062.  Baltimore City median sales price held steady at $135,000 on 700 sales, which was a 17.1% increase over last year.


Active listings show minimal growth but are still at highest July level since 2011, condos are fastest sellers. With 14,162 properties on the market at the end of July, an increase of 2.2% or 306 units compared to last year, this marks the twenty-second consecutive month that active listings have increased year-over-year.  The number of townhome listings increased by 6.8% to 4,587, condo listings rose 4.5% to 1,246, while single-family detached listings declined by a slight 0.4% to 8,329.  Compared to last month, active inventory showed an increase of 1% or 137 listings, with single-family detached up 1.2%, townhomes up 1.4%, and condos down 1.7%.  Active inventory exceeds the 5-year average of 13,675, but is still below the 10-year average of 15,970.  Active listings at the end of July are down less than 2.0%  in both Anne Arundel and Carroll Counties, and down slightly more than 2% in Harford County, but up by 7.2% in Baltimore County, up 4.5% in Baltimore City and up 1.5% in Howard County. 

There was a 5.9% increase in the number of new listings to 5,188, which is the highest July level since 2007.  New listings for condos rose by the largest percentage of 9.0% to 486, followed by single-family detached which increased by 8.5% to 2,981, and townhomes by 1.1% to 1,721.  There have now been year-over-year increases in the number of new listings for 28 consecutive months, and the number of new listings exceeds both the 5-year average of 4,286 and the 10-year average of 4,739.  Not unexpectedly, new listings were down 5.6% compared to last month.  The number of new listings for the period January-July is up by 2,933 or 9.1% compared to last year. 

At 32 days, the median days-on-market (DOM) decreased by two days compared to last year and increased four days from last month.  Median days-on-market remains comfortably lower than the 5-year July average of 40 days and well below the 10-year average of 46 days.  Condos are the fastest sellers, with a median DOM of 29 days, while single-family detached have a median DOM of 31 and townhomes have a median DOM of 34.  Properties in Harford County, Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City all have a median DOM greater than 32, while Carroll, Baltimore and Howard Counties all have a median DOM less than 32.  While Baltimore City homes sold faster than the region in the six months leading into May, averaging eight fewer days over those months, its median DOM was higher than the region in both May and June, by three days and five days, respectively.  That gap has narrowed to just three days in July, indicating that the impact of the civil unrest is receding.



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

baltimore metro, market analysis, press release
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