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 February 2014 MRIS housing data. Click here to view the full releases.
Decrease in new listings from last year; Prices up
February was another unusually cold and snowy month in the Washington DC Metro Area which may have contributed to a less active housing market. Both buyer and seller activity slowed, with closed sales, new contracts and new listings all decreasing from this time last year. Closed sales fell 3.5 percent and new contracts declined 11.3 percent from February 2013. New listings decreased 3.3 percent from last year. While closed sales and new contracts also had year-over-year declines in January, this was the first such decrease in new listings since spring 2013. Despite the decline in new listings, active listings rose and have now increased from the prior year for five consecutive months. There were 7,011 active listings at the end of February, 15.1 percent more than last February. However, inventory remains low and is only 27.1 percent of its 2007 peak. Tight inventory continues to play a role in price growth and the median sales price for the region increased 5.6 percent from last year. This is the 25th month in a row of year-over-year increases for the region’s median price.
As the weather improves, both buyers and potential sellers may be more inclined to enter the market. “As the region finally thaws out, we anticipate a very active March market,” said Jonathan Hill, President of RealEstate Business Intelligence. “Typical seasonal patterns suggest around a 35 percent increase in listing activity compared to February and a 25 percent month-over-month jump in new contracts as the spring market kicks into gear.”
Increase in closed sales despite winter weather
February was another unusually cold and snowy month in the Baltimore Metro Area, but the weather had less of an impact on activity in the housing market than in January. The number of closed sales increased 5.9 percent from last February, with increases in all property segments. But the number of new contracts signed in February fell 1.7 percent from last year, driven by declines in townhomes and single-family detached homes. While buyer activity was mixed, seller activity continues to improve as compared to the prior year. New listings increased 2.3 percent and continued to contribute to increases in active listings. There were 10,107 active listings at the end of February, 7.4 percent more than the same time last year. Despite this increase, inventory remains low and is only half of its 2008 peak level. The tight inventory may be playing a role in price growth and the median sales price for the region increased 7.6 percent from last year. As the weather improves, both buyers and potential sellers may be more inclined to enter the market.
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. New features are coming later this month to rbiEXPERT. Stay tuned to the MRIS Blog to learn more.