Housing inventories decline in Baltimore and Washington
Most housing markets across the country generally remain volatile, and oversupply remains a challenge. However, there are some markets where homes are in demand, and being sold. The RealEstate Business Intelligence home pricing index shows, that in August 2009, the inventory of houses on the market in Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas was huge. And the number continued to spike into 2010. In Baltimore, 17,215 houses were listed for sale in August two years ago. That jumped to nearly 19,000 within 12 months. In D.C., the same trend emerged. In August 2009, 15,300 house were listed, and that grew to 16,217 twelve months later. But then, in both markets, the inventory tightened this year. In August 2011, 16,265 houses were on the market in Baltimore and 14,325 in Washington — both significant declines from 2010 figures. "The absorption rate slipped as the decline in active inventory outpaced the decline in contracts," the RBI said regarding its index for Baltimore. As for Washington, the absorption rate was "3.4 months in August 2011, essentially unchanged from 3.3 months in July 2011 but was faster than the 4.7 month absorption rate in August 2010. " While the news is good for the markets, it is not translating into better pricing across the two markets. In Baltimore, median sales price outpaced seasonal patterns, rising 4.4% to $235,000 in August from $225,000 in the July. On the other hand in Washington, the median sales price in August showed a normal seasonal pattern, declining 3.8% to $356,000 from $370,000 in July, but was essentially unchanged from a year earlier. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @jacobgaffney.