Baltimore Metro Contract Activity Up in October, but Prices Slide

Posted on November 10, 2011 by Corey Hart




Conforming Loan Limit Reduction Impacts High-End Market Segment


Rockville, MD (November 10, 2011) – The following analysis of the Baltimore, Maryland, Metro Area housing market has been prepared by RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI), and is based on the October 2011 RBI Pending Home Sales Index™ released today.

View PDF version of this release



There were 2,210 new pending sales in the Baltimore metro area for the month of October, 20.2% more than the same month last year, but the median sales price fell 8.2% compared to October 2010, marking the tenth straight month of year-over-year declines.  The reduced conforming loan limits, effective October 1, appear to have had a negative impact on higher priced home sales with the number of homes sold above $600,000 falling 45.3% from September. Home sales below $600,000, on the other hand, saw an 11.7% decline in sales. The drop-off in settlements for higher priced homes had a negative impact on the median sale price for October and is something to keep an eye on in the months ahead. 



Key Trends

  • October new listings reflected long term reduction in inventory. There were 3,247 new listings in October 2011, the lowest monthly level in ten years.  The count of total active listings, including listings added prior to October 2011 but fully available, was 15,349 or 14.3% below the five year October average. October 2011 marks the eighth straight month of year-over-year declines in active inventory, the fourth straight month where the year-over-year percent drop exceeded 10%, indicating the market continues to absorb excess inventory.
  • Detached and Attached Sale Prices.  Average sales prices for detached properties decreased 8.9% from the September 2011 level of $349,568 to October 2010 level of $318,476. During the same time, average sale prices for attached properties, including townhouses, condo and coops, had a nominal decline of only 1% to $172,884 compared to $174,590 in September 2011. The more drastic decline in pricing for detached homes likely resulted from this segment being impacted by the number of sales above/below the new conforming loan limit.
  • Negotiability between buyer and seller.  The listing discount, a measure of the percent difference between the original listing price and the sales price was 10.9% for October 2011, effectively unchanged from October 2011.  Bank-Mediated homes (including foreclosures and short sales) had an average discount of 15.3%, slightly less than the 16.6% average discount in September 2011. Standard sales, or those that were not foreclosures or short sales, had a 9.3% average discount level in October 2011, also down slightly from the September 2011 average discount of 9.9%. 


The RBI Pending Home Sales Index™ is a two-year moving window on the housing market using new pending sales (signed contracts) and median sales price (closed sales). It provides unique insight into the state of the current housing market by measuring the number of new pending sales for each month through the most recent month.The results include new pending sales through and including October 2011.  The market area includes: The City of Baltimore, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County in Maryland.



RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI)is a wholly owned subsidiary of MRIS. RBI is a primary source of real estate data, analytics and business intelligence for real estate professionals with business interests in the Mid-Atlantic region.  The full monthly data report for all jurisdictions in the MRIS region, along with charts and graphics, can be found at  RBI is the only company in the Mid-Atlantic region that provides timely, online access to statistical information directly from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).  Visit or to learn more.   



Baltimore Metro Area, market analysis, press release
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