Prices up, but sales way down
Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, which released the numbers today, has sales comparisons going back to March 1999.
The second-worst performance was in September of 2006, followed by September of this year. Economists attribute the increased problems in the last two months to the pullback in subprime lending, the rise in jumbo-loan rates and other mortgage trauma that hit in August.
In the good news/bad news department:
Good news: Inventory fell rather than rose, to about 20,500 unsold homes from 20,900 the month before. Bad news: The sales figure was by far the lowest for any October on record. That means the time it would take to move all the unsold homes at the current sales pace is continuing to go up.
I know, I know, this is all my fault. Sorry.
Other noteworthy stats:
Average prices jumped about 10 percent in both Baltimore City and Howard County -- though the typical home seller probably didn't see that, since the median price increase was much more modest. (It was about 5 percent in Howard and less than 1.5 percent in the city.)
Average prices dropped in Baltimore County and Harford County (about 4 percent and 3 percent, respectively).
Carroll County, which saw a small increase in average price, had the best sales performance -- its numbers fell less than 7 percent. Every other jurisdiction in the Baltimore area saw decreases around 30 percent.
Homes that sold in the Baltimore metro area in October sat on the market an average of 103 days, up from 70 a year earlier. That's about on par with October 1999, and better than October 1998, when the days on market hit 127 -- more than four months.