« Homebuilder optimism | Main | Real estate poll: Predict home prices »

July 10, 2010

June home sales: Good news, bad news

Sellers waiting for some sign of housing-market recovery might be excused for cheering at the news Friday that sale prices in the Baltimore metro area were up 5 percent in June. Five percent! The biggest year-over-year jump since '07!

But hang on, folks. If ever a month should be slapped with the "past performance does not guarantee future results" label, June was it.

Until a last-minute act of Congress extended the deadline, June was the final month to close on a sale and still qualify for the first-time homebuyer tax credit worth up to $8,000. Economists figure the price pop here and in other parts of the country is more one-off than trend.

More in today's housing-market story.

Contracts -- pending sales -- give us a glimpse at the near future. The deadline for signing a contract came and went April 30, and in May, new deals were down more than 30 percent from a year earlier. June's year-over-year drop in newly signed contracts was a still sizable but less steep 17 percent.

On the upside: About 430 more buyers signed contracts in June than in May. Of course, the bar wasn't set high. With so many buyers incentivized to sign by April 30, May activity was low -- 2,110 fewer contracts than the month before. May: about 1,840 new pending deals. April: about 3,950.

A few more notable numbers from June, as reported by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems:

Homes that sold were on the market for 100 days on average, 21 days less than homes selling a year earlier.

Sellers got closer to their asking prices than they did a year ago. But not that close -- just under 92 percent, compared with a bit over 90 percent in June 2009. (I'd be curious to see that stat broken out just for the under-$250,000 homes, the sort first-timers are more likely to buy.)

The average sale price cracked $300,000 for the first time in months.

Homes newly listed for sale outnumbered homes newly under contract more than two to one.

You can find the raw numbers here. Anything catch your eye?

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 12:01 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Housing stats

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Name-calling aimed at other commenters is not welcome here. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie

Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Baltimore Sun Real Estate section
Archive: Dream Home
Dream Home takes readers into the houses of area residents who have found their ideal home.
Sign up for FREE business alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Business text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Sign up for the At Home newsletter
The home and garden newsletter includes design tips and trends, gardening coverage, ideas for DIY projects and more.
See a sample | Sign up

Charm City Current
Stay connected