With Steady Price Growth in Baltimore Metro, New Listing Gains Continue

Posted on October 10, 2013 by Corey Hart
10

Oct

2013

Decline in active listings mildest in over two years; Double-digit growth for new listings for the sixth straight month

OVERVIEW

Activity in the Baltimore Region continues to be steady and strong as we enter fall.  Sales and pending contracts increased in September as compared to this time last year.  Inventory continues to decline, but as in prior months, the pace of the decline is slowing.  Median sales prices reached their highest September-level in five years, likely as a result of strong demand and tight supply.  Condo and townhome properties led the growth in both closed sales and median prices. There was a 21.9 percent increase in new listings from this time last year.

“Favorable market conditions continue to cause new sellers to enter the market,” said Jonathan Hill, President of RealEstate Business Intelligence. “This is the sixth consecutive month with double-digit percent increases in new listing activity compared to 2012.”  Homes are selling quickly; the median days-on-market was 35 days in September, which is the lowest September-level since the peak of the housing boom in 2005.  Federal uncertainty may play a stronger role over the coming months as the impact of the Federal Shutdown and debt ceiling are felt.

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CLOSED SALES
Double-digit sales growth for the sixth consecutive month; highest September-level in seven years.  There were 2,408 sales in the Baltimore Metro Region in September, which is 17.2 percent more than this time last year.  This is the sixth consecutive double-digit year-over-year gain for sales.  The number of sales decreased 14.2 percent from last month, but the decline is in line with seasonal patterns.  The 10-year average August to September change is -12.1 percent.  Condo properties led all property segments in year-over-year sales growth, increasing 29.0 percent from September 2012.  The lower price-points and smaller unit size of condos may be attractive to first time homebuyers and investors, contributing to the strong demand.  Sales of townhomes rose 20.7 percent from last year.  Sales of detached homes increased 12.8 percent.

PRICES

Highest September-level median price in five years.  At $245,000, the median sales price in the Baltimore Metro Region is 4.3 percent higher than this time last year, an increase of $10,000.  This is the highest September-level median sales price in the region has seen since 2008.  Condos had the highest growth rate of all property segments increasing 9.3 percent from September 2012, a gain of $17,000.  The median price of townhomes increased 8.0 percent from last year, a gain of $14,000.  At $305,000, the median sales price for single-family homes increased by $5,000, or 1.7 percent, from last year.  Among the jurisdictions in the region, Carroll County had the highest growth rate, increasing 19.1 percent from last September.  The year-to-date median sales price for the region as a whole increased to $242,500 from $231,100, a 5.0 percent gain from the same period last year.

NEW CONTRACTS

New contracts are up across all property segments compared to last year.  There were 2,653 new contracts signed in September, an increase of 9.6 percent, or 232 contracts, from this time last year.  Single-family detached homes had the highest growth rate of the property segments and increased 10.4 percent from a year ago.  New contracts for townhomes grew nearly as much, increasing 10.3 percent, while condos lagged for the first time in nine months, increasing only 3.2 percent from a year ago.

INVENTORY

Mild decrease in active listings and continued double-digit increases in new inventory. There were 11,609 active listings in the Baltimore Metro Region at the end of September, a decrease of 312 listings from this time last year.  This is the lowest September-level of active listings the region has seen since 2005.  Active listings for single-family detached homes and townhomes declined 3.0 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.  The number of active listings for condo properties was unchanged from last September.  This is the first month where this indicator did not decrease for condo properties in nearly three years.  All segments remain at 8-year lows for the month of September.  While the inventory declined by 2.6 percent from this time last year, it is up 3.2 percent from August, and has had month-over-month gains for seven of the past nine months.  The pace of the year-over-year decline has slowed in recent months, and the decrease from last September is the mildest year-over-year decrease in over two years.  Increases in new listings over the past several months are contributing to the slower decline.  There were 3,942 new listings in September, 21.9 percent more than this time last year.  This is the sixth consecutive month of double-digit growth for this indicator.  Condos led all property segments in new listing growth, rising 25.3 percent from last September.  New listings of single-family detached homes rose 22.0 percent and those for townhomes rose 20.7 percent from this time last year.  At 35 days, the median days-on-market is the lowest September-level in eight years.

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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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