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What’s the Market Pulse for Different Housing Types?

May 19, 2014  |  by Chris Sicks

Housing Market Trends for 2014I’m sure you are often asked: “How’s the real estate market?” The best response may be: “Which market do you mean? Are you talking about detached homes in Baltimore County, or condos in the District?”

The Mid-Atlantic region contains so many communities and home types that it is hard to make any generalizations about real estate at all.

The charts below show why. As you can see, the number of sales and the active inventory in April 2014 varied widely—especially among housing types. The jurisdiction you’re talking about matters a lot, but the pulse of the market also varies depending on whether you look at detached homes, townhomes, or condos.

April Chart

Click here to view a larger version of the chart above.

To compare the data, I have provided the months of supply (Mo. Supply) for each home type in 10 jurisdictions. (To determine this, I divided the available inventory on April 30 by the homes sold in April.)

Home buyers looking for detached homes will find things easier in many parts of Maryland. Condos and townhomes are easiest to buy in Baltimore City.

What do I mean by “easiest?” Simply this: when there are a lot of homes in the inventory, and not many are selling, a buyer is in the best possible position. Low sales and high inventory are what cause the months supply to go up.

For sellers of detached homes, things are best in Loudoun, Arlington, the District, and Prince George’s County. Condos sell best in Fairfax, Loudoun, and the District.

No matter where you look, townhomes are in shorter supply than any other home type. That’s been true every time I’ve done these stats over the past 20 years. For some reason, the supply of available townhomes is always tighter than it is for other home types.

If you have a theory why that is, please share your thoughts in the comments.

Chris Sicks has reported on the Washington-Baltimore real estate market for over 20 years. Contact him at

Posted in Blog, Featured, Market Statistics

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One response to “What’s the Market Pulse for Different Housing Types?”

  1. Joy Phillips says:

    Townhomes are more likely to be in shorter supply because price wise, they are the most affordable. Even though the sales price for condos may be less, when one adds condo fees which may be more than the monthly mortgage sometimes, and either cash or 20 percent requirements for purchase, and non FHA loan acceptance in many condo developments because of high delinquencies, acquiring a condo can be more costly than a townhouse.

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