How is COVID-19 Impacting The Baltimore Housing Market?


Pamela Harris

The Baltimore housing market is somewhat competitive. Homes in Baltimore receive 2 offers on average and sell in around 20 days. The average sale price of a home in Baltimore was $200K last month, up 22.8% since last year. The average sale price per square foot in Baltimore is $148, up 17.9% since last year.

Overall, more than 2,000 townhomes sold last month in the Baltimore metro area — including the city and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties ― resulting in attached homes’ greatest year-over-year gain in seven years, data shows. Meanwhile, homes spent a median time of just nine days on the market.

The housing market in Maryland’s two major metro markets started strong before the COVID-19 pandemic prompted lockdown orders from elected officials.

Both Baltimore and Washington metro areas, according to MarketStats data by ShowingTime, posted their highest median March sales prices in a decade.

By late in the month, however, pending sales and new listings declined precipitously.

“The metro area hit a March 10-year high for median home sale price, but new listings grew at lower levels than what we typically see in March,” said Chris Finnegan, chief marketing and communications officer at Bright MLS said.

The March housing statistics are the first data to show how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced local residential real estate sales.

Baltimore Real Estate Market 2020 Overview

  • Median Home Value: $154,190

  • 1-Year Appreciation Rate: 1.0%

  • Median Home Value (1-Year Forecast): -2.6%

  • Median Rent Price: $1,410

  • Price-To-Rent Ratio: 9.41

  • Baltimore-Towson Unemployment Rate 9.6% (latest estimate by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics)

  • Baltimore City Population: 583,490 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Median Household Income: $48,790 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Percentage Of Vacant Homes: 19.59%

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 2,141 (4.7%)

But home prices are skyrocketing and home buying is only expected to get harder

Those low mortgage rates, along with the urge to find shelter during the pandemic, seem to have brought so many homebuyers into a market where bargains are hard to find. VIP Keyz that as of the end of July, lower mortgage rates had given buyers an extra 6.8% in purchasing power, but house prices were up 8.4% year-over-year at that point — and they’ve kept going up since.

Those who already own homes are holding off on selling, according to Zillow economists, meaning there are fewer homes on the market than normal. There are 21% fewer houses for sale now than there were at this time last year. NAR found that the country’s total housing inventory dropped to 1.57 million in September — enough to last a record-low 2.7 months.

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