Baltimore Metro Area Real Estate Market Continues to Improve

The following article shows how things are really changing in the Baltimore real estate market which drives home the point that now is the time to purchase a home in this area. Fence sitters will only lose out and end up spending more money and getting less home for it if they continue to wait for that “deal of a lifetime”.

Rockville, MD – (June 11, 2012) – From an updated release by RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC (RBI), a primary source of real estate data, analytics and business intelligence for real estate professionals with business interests in the Mid-Atlantic region with data provided by  MRIS Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Overview: The Baltimore Metro Area housing market continues to see declining inventory and median sale prices that are trending upward. As the shrinking supply lingers, upward pressure on pricing should continue, as evidenced by the fourth consecutive year-over-year median sale price increase in May for the region. Rising demand is also driving up prices, as new contracts and closed sales continue to increase, following seasonal patterns. Notably, the condo market is picking up strength with seven consecutive year-over-year gains in closed sales, and a 21.5 percent increase in new contracts compared to May 2011. Current trends also point to a diminishing supply of foreclosures and short sales in the market, which now account for 17.1 percent of all active listings, the lowest percentage in two years.

Sales volumes continue to climb. The region had 2,361 sales close in May, up 13.3 percent from May 2011, and only seven closings shy of the highest volume in 23 months. This is the fourth consecutive year-over-year gain for closed sales in the region, and is driven mainly by continued growth of single-family detached and condo sales. There were 1,333 closings of detached homes, a 17.8 percent increase from May 2011. With 791 units closed, townhome sales increased 5.6 percent from May last year. Condos continue to post gains as 237 units closed in May, up 16.7 percent from May 2011, the seventh consecutive year-over-year gain. Year-to-date condo sales in the metro area are now 103 units higher than in the same period in 2011.

Closed sales of bank-mediated properties (foreclosures and short sales) continue to trend downward. There were 443 bank-mediated closings in May, a 23.9 percent drop compared to this time last year, and the 12 consecutive year-over-year decline. Proportionally, foreclosures and short sales make up 18.8 percent of all closings, down from 27.9 in May 2011. Within the bank-mediated property segment, a shift from foreclosure to short sale is clearly evident. Foreclosure sales declined 50.8 percent in May compared to this time last year, the 12th consecutive month-over-year decline. Short sales on the other hand grew 59.0 percent compared to May 2011, the eighth consecutive year-over-year increase. Much of this shift from foreclosure to short sale reflects a change in how banks deal with their distressed assets.

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Steve Kimmey helps clients find homes for sale in Baltimore and surrounding communities.

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