Strong demand and low inventories continue driving Baltimore area prices up in May

Posted on June 12, 2017 by Corey Hart



Baltimore Metro median sales price up 4.4% to $273,625, best May price in a decade; Closed and pending sales both at highest May levels of decade; Active inventories and days-on-market both at ten-year May lows

Rockville, MD – (June 12, 2017) – The following analysis of the Baltimore Metro Area housing market has been prepared by Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. of MarketStats by ShowingTime and is based on May 2017 Bright MLS housing data.

Click here to view PDF version of this report


  • The Baltimore Metro area median sales price of $273,625 was up 4.4% or $11,625 from last year and up 7.1% compared to last month. This was the highest May level reached since 2007.
  • Sales volume across the Baltimore Metro area was $1.2 billion, up 10.2% from last year.
  • Closed sales of 3,964 were up 6.7% compared to last year and set a May high for the decade.
  • New contract activity of 4,777 was 3.7% above last year’s May record of 4,605.
  • There were 5,946 new listings in May, up 3.3% from last year and up 2.7% from last month.
  • Active listings declined by 14.0% to 10,490, the 21st consecutive month of declining year-over-year inventory levels and the lowest May levels in a decade.
  • The average percentage of original list price received at sale in May was 96.8%, up from last year’s 95.5% and last month’s 96.2.  This is the highest monthly level of the decade.
  • The median days-on-market was 19 days, down from 26 days last year, and at the lowest monthly level in a decade.


  • The May overall regional median sales price of $273,625 is up 4.4% or $11,625 from last year, and up 7.1% or $18,125 from last month.  This is the 15th consecutive month of year-over-year price increases and is the highest May price level of the past decade.
  • Compared to last May, townhome prices were up 4.9% to $213,000 and single-family detached prices were up 2.6% to $338,500.  Condo prices, however, were down 4.3% to $201,000.
  • Prices are above the 5-year average of $257,125 and the 10-year average of $249,208.
  • May prices are 23.3% above the 2011 low of $221,950.
  • Howard County continues to be the most expensive area in the region, with a May median sales price of $432,500, a 4.2% increase compared to last year. 
  • Baltimore City remains the most affordable area in the region, with a May median sales price of $156,000, a 0.7% increase compared to last year.
  • The highest level of year-over-year price appreciation was in Anne Arundel County, where prices rose 6.8% to $342,000.  Only Carroll County saw a decrease in prices compared to last year, where they dropped a negligible 0.2% to $313,500. 
  • For the year-to-date, all jurisdictions show price increases and the overall regional median sales price has increased 4.2% to $250,000.


  • The 3,964 closed sales in May were at the highest level in a decade, up 6.7% compared to last year, and up 21.4% compared to last month.   
  • Compared to last year, townhome sales were up 8.9% to 1,406, condos were up 5.8% to 383, and single-family detached sales were up 5.4% to 2,174.
  • May sales were well above the 5-year average of 3,288 and the 10-year average of 2,771.
  • Sales were 97.3% above the 2009 low of 2,009.
  • Sales activity across the region was up in all jurisdictions.  Howard County saw the highest percentage increase in number of sales (+10.6% or 47 sales) while Carroll County saw the smallest level of increase of 0.4%, or one sale.


  • There were 4,777 new pending sales in May, up 3.7% compared to last year, and up 7.0% compared to last month.    
  • Townhomes saw a 5.3% increase in the number of pending sales to 1,658.  Single-family detached pending sales increased 3.5% to 2,640, but condos decreased 0.4% to 478.
  • Pending contracts are above the 5-year average of 4,200 and the 10-year average of 3,320.
  • The number of new pending contracts in May was 168.8% more than the 10-year market low of 1,777 seen in 2010.
  • New pending sales were up across all jurisdictions in the Baltimore Metro area, except in Howard County, where they dropped 6.1% to 557.  Pending sales increased in all other jurisdictions, with the smallest increase in Baltimore County (+2.7% or 34) and the largest increase in Carroll County (+8.6% or 25). 


  • There were 5,946 new listings added in May in the Baltimore Metro area, a 3.3% increase compared to last year, as well as a 2.7% increase compared to last month. 
  • The number of new townhome listings rose 8.8% to 2,079 and the number of new condo listings rose 7.5% to 574.  Single-family detached new listings declined a slight 0.6% to 3,293
  • New listings are above the 5-year average of 5,625 and the 10-year average of 5,049.
  • The number of new listings in May was up 48.8% compared to the 2012 market low of 3,997, and was 1.9% below the May 2015 high of 6,062.
  • Across the region, the largest percentage decrease in new listings was in Carroll County, where they declined 12.8% to 369.  The largest percentage increase in the number of new listings was in Howard County, where they rose 8.6% to 756.


  • Active inventories of 10,490 dropped by 14.0% compared to last year, although they were up 3.0% compared to last month. Overall inventory levels have declined for 21 consecutive months and are at the lowest May level in a decade. 
  • All types of property saw year-over-year declines in inventory levels, with condos down 16.1% to 980, single-family detached down 16.0% to 6,026, and townhomes down 9.6% to 3,483.
  • Inventories are well below both the 5-yr average of 12,052 and the 10-yr average of 14,497.
  • May inventories are 46.9% below the decade high of 19,769 seen in May of 2008, and are 4.3% below the previous May 2013 low of 10,959.
  • All jurisdictions in the region showed declines in inventory levels, with the largest percentage decline of 31.4% in Carroll County to 620 active listings, and the smallest decline of 7.6% in Howard County to 1,006 active listings.


  • The average sales price to original listing price ratio (SP to OLP ratio) for May was 96.8%, up significantly from last year’s 95.5%, and also up from last month’s 96.2%.  This was easily the highest May level in a decade.
  • Townhomes have the highest SP to OLP ratio of 97.1%.  Single-family detached homes have a SP to OLP ratio of 96.9% and condos have a SP to OLP ratio of 95.5%.
  • The May SP to OLP ratio is well above both the 5-year average of 95.3% and the 10-year average of 93.1%.
  • Over the last decade, the lowest May average sales price to original listing price ratio was in 2011, where it was 88.5%, and the previous high was last May where it was 95.5%.
  • Homes in Howard County sold at 98.2% of their original listing price in May, which continues to be the highest in the region, and well above last year’s 97.0%.
  • The largest gap between original listing price and sales price was in Baltimore City, where it was 95.3%, up from last year’s 93.1%.


  • The median days-on-market (DOM) in May in the Baltimore Metro region was 19 days, down seven days from both last year and last month. This is the lowest DOM of the last decade.
  • Condos had a median DOM of 26, while townhomes and single-family detached both had median DOM of 18.
  • May’s median DOM of 19 days is well below both the 5-year average of 27 days and the 10-year average of 44 days.
  • May’s median DOM of 19 was 56 days less than the peak DOM of 75 days in May 2009 and was the lowest May level in a decade.  The previous lowest median DOM was in 2016 at 26.
  • All jurisdictions in the region saw declines in the May median DOM, with Howard County seeing the largest decline of 50.0% or 9 days.  Homes also sell fastest in Howard County, with a median DOM of 9, down from 18 days last year.
  • Baltimore City had the highest median DOM of 26 days, down from 35 days last year.
  • For the year-to-date, the regional median DOM is 33 days, down from 47 days for the same period last year.


About the Baltimore 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 ShowingTime’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. Data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

About Bright MLS

The Bright MLS real estate service area spans 40,000 square miles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and West Virginia. As a leading Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Bright serves approximately 85,000 real estate professionals who in turn serve over 20 million consumers. For more information, please visit

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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