The following market highlights for the Washington, D.C. Metro and Baltimore, MD Metro Area housing markets have been prepared by RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) and is based on April 2014 MRIS housing data. Click here to view the full releases.
Highest April-level median sales price in seven years
In April, buyer activity remained lower than the previous year in the Washington DC Metro Area. Both closed sales and new pending sales were below their levels from this time last year, with all property segments posting declines in each category. However, some of the decline in closed and pending sales was due to a decrease in short sales and foreclosures. After 2008, like the nation, the DC metro region had an increasing number of bank-mediated sales. The number of bank-mediated sales peaked in 2010 and has since been declining, falling from 15.1 percent of total sales in April 2013 to 10.7 percent of all sales in April 2014. While this decline is a result of fewer distressed properties in the market, it has also depressed the total number of sales. Closed sales decreased 8.3 percent, or by 350 sales, but non-bank mediated sales only fell by 3.5 percent, or by 127 sales. Bank mediated sales declined 35.0 percent, or by 223 sales, and accounted for 63.7 percent of the decline in total sales. Bank mediated sales had a similar role in new pending contracts, accounting for 42.5 percent of the decline in new contracts, despite being a smaller share of the market.
Active listings continue to rise and are 24.5 percent higher than last April. But new listings were only 1.5 percent higher than April 2013 and total inventory is only 34.2 percent of its 2007 peak. The tight inventory and decrease in bank mediated sales are playing a role in price growth and the median sale price increased 3.1 percent from last year.
Highest April-level median sales price since 2008
Buyer activity slowed in the Baltimore Metro Area in April, but seller activity continued to improve. Closed sales decreased 1.0 percent from last April, driven by decreases in sales of single-family detached homes and condo properties. The number of new contracts declined by 1.1 percent from this time last year, but remained higher than the April-level for the six preceding years. As compared to last year, new listings increased 13.0 percent, which is the highest year-over-year increase in four months. The number of active listings increased 14.6 percent but is still only 59.2 percent of its peak-level. The median sales price for the region increased 0.8 percent, or by $2,000, from last year, driven by gains in single-family detached homes and condo properties. Seller confidence appears to be increasing as evidence by consistent increases in listings. Despite more options, buyer activity has slowed with sales falling two of the first four months this year, after double digit growth for most of 2013. It’s still too early to distinguish a trend, but rising interest rates, and sales prices could be playing a role.