Supply vs. demand in the Baltimore-area housing market
If homes keep selling at the current pace, how long would it take to clear everything currently listed for sale?
Here's the answer for the Baltimore region in March, the most recent statistics from Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, keeper of the multiple-listing service:
Anne Arundel County: 8.4 months
Baltimore City: 9.8 months
Baltimore County: 8.5 months
Carroll County: 12.4 months (longest in the region)
Harford County: 7.8 months
Howard County: 6 months (shortest in the region)
Metro area overall: 8.7 months
To put that into perspective, the rule of thumb is generally that six months reflects a balance between demand (buyers) and supply (sellers).
The months-of-supply stats above are calculated based on transactions that closed in March. If you divide homes listed for sale by the pending deals newly inked in March, the months of supply for the Baltimore metro area drops to 5.6 months.
This is typically the busy time of year for contract-signing, so it makes sense that the months of supply would fall as spring buyers get into gear. If 2011 follows the normal trend, the figure will rise later, especially at the end of the year.
Once we see an entire year with the months' supply averaging around six, then that would probably mean the market's back on an even keel.
Sellers, have you tallied up the competition near you? What sort of months' supply are you looking at? (You can see what's in your ZIP code at the website of MRIS's stats arm, RealEstate Business Intelligence.)
Buyers, do you prefer looking in neighborhoods with lots of homes for sale, or does that ample supply make you nervous?