The following analysis of the Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing markets has been prepared by RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI) and GMU Center for Regional Analysis, and is based on February 2013 MRIS housing data. Click here to view the full releases.
After several months of growth – sales, new contracts, and median prices flatten; Low inventory continues, active listings down 2,500 from last year
After several months of strong year-over-year growth, sales and new contracts in the Baltimore Metro Region have slowed, and are essentially unchanged from a year ago. While this could indicate softening demand, it is still too early to distinguish a pattern. At a more granular level, single-family homes brought down the growth rate for the market as a whole because they make up more than half of the region’s sales and new contract in any given month. Sales and new contracts on single-family homes dropped from this time last year, while condos and townhomes experienced growth or remained steady. Despite the slowed sales, the median sale price remained stable, which is likely a result of the low inventory of homes for sale. Active listings are down about 2,500 from a year ago. New listings had been trending upward but have now slowed. It is likely that economic uncertainty and looming job uncertainty continue to dampen the housing market in the region despite the pent up demand that has been building.
Low inventory continues to push up median sales prices in all jurisdictions; Subtle signs of a changing inventory pattern begin to emerge with new listings
Price growth continues throughout the Washington DC Metro Region, driven by the low inventory of homes for sale. The low inventory is also pushing up the average sale-to-list price ratio, which is now at its highest level since the summer of 2006. While active listings remain at historic lows, new listings are beginning to show signs of what could be a changing pattern. New listings are up over 13 percent across all property segments in the region compared to last month, which is well above the 10-year average change for each segment. This could be an indication that sellers are beginning to respond to the pent-up demand in the market. Sales also continue to improve and are at their highest February-level since 2007. Condos led all property segments in sales growth and now account for the highest proportion of the region’s sales in over five years. Despite the continued sales growth, new contracts are down compared to last year for the third time in four months region-wide, which is being driven by a drop in single-family detached contracts.