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REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT—The following analysis of the Baltimore, Maryland, metro area housing market has been prepared by RealEstate Business Intelligence (RBI), and is based on the September 2011 RBI Pending Home Sales Index™.

September 2011 home sales in the Baltimore metro area edged out the September 2010 totals by the thinnest of margins. September sales this year of $513 million were a 0.7% increase over September 2010 sales of $509 million. And total units sold this September of 1,873 were 1.35% higher than the 1,848 units sold in September 2010. However, new contacts written in September 2011 were 2,022, ahead of September 2010 by 11.9% and ahead of the last five year September average by 3.4%.

For the rest of 2011, year over year comparisons will continue to see the impact of last year’s tax credit. The tax credit incentive moved sales ahead of the seasonal buying cycle and sales which would have otherwise occurred in Q3 and Q4, were incented to go under contract by April 30, 2010 to receive the credit.

September new listings reflected long term reduction in inventory. There were 3,234 new listings in September 2011, the lowest monthly level in ten years indicating the market continues to absorb excess inventory. The count of total active listings, including listings added prior to September 2010 but fully available, was 16,016 – 13.4% below the five year September average.

Detached and Attached Sale Prices. Year over year prices for detached properties increased 0.74% from a September 2010 average of $347,005 to September 2011 average price of $349,568. During the same time, average sale prices for attached properties (including townhouses, condo and coops) declined 8.33% in the September 2011 average sale price of $174,590, down from the September 2010 average sale price of $190,463.

The time to market a property increases. The average days on market prior to buyer and seller agreeing on terms increased 9.9% from the August 2011 level of 111 days to 122 day in September 2011. The year over year increase from September 2010 was 15.1% or 16 days. The average discount from original list price was 11.5% in September 2011, slightly higher than August 2011 level 11.0% and 1.5% higher than the discount in September 2010.

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