Baltimore County Housing Market Sees Significant Sales Decline In March, Despite Rising Prices
BALTIMORE COUNTY - Home sales in Baltimore County fell significantly in March, while the median and average sales price continued to climb, according to the recently released Maryland REALTOR Housing Statistics Report.
Last month, 735 homes were sold in Baltimore County, a 23.2% decrease compared to the previous year. The county’s drop in sales mirrors statewide trends, with home sales across Maryland dropping 27.4% compared to March 2022.
Further signs of a softening market in Baltimore County can be seen in Units Pending (homes under contract), which fell by 21.8%. Active Inventory dropped by 3% to 764 units, while the number of new listings entering the market dropped by 31.8% to 818.
According to Maryland REALTOR, All three indicators: Units Pending, Active Inventory, and New Listings - reflected the most significant drop in their respective categories since the beginning of the year.
Maryland REALTORS President, Yolanda Muckle, said that the range of housing options is currently too narrow for many prospective home buyers.
“While buyers clearly want to be in the market, housing remains unaffordable to many. Consumers need a range of options, and they’re simply not available,” Muckle said. “During the most recent Maryland legislative session, a couple of bills were passed that can help in the long run, and we look forward to Governor Moore signing these bills into law, but there’s so much more that needs to be done.”
Muckle is referring to SB 382/HB 239, recently passed by the Maryland General Assembly. This legislation forms a task force to study the creation of Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinances statewide.
Another bill, HB 98, would reform insurance requirements for detached condominiums, making it easier to sell smaller and cheaper dwellings.
Both of these bills aim to address the “missing middle” of the housing market. “Missing middle” refers to the lack of available homes that fall somewhere between a single-family home and mid-rise apartment buildings – such as townhomes, duplexes, triplexes, and courtyard clusters.
“While we appreciate the Maryland legislature wanting to study ADUs, local communities can make it easier for their residents to do something now,” Muckle added.
Baltimore County passed legislation in January to establish the Baltimore County Housing Opportunities Fund. Under the bill, Baltimore County will utilize the previously committed $16 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds, in addition to future County funds, to support the development of new units, the acquisition of land and existing units, the preservation of existing units, and the conversion of market-rate units to affordable housing.
The legislation establishing the Housing Opportunities Fund took effect on April 10, and it remains to be seen what effect it will have on housing prices and availability in Baltimore County.