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Baltimore-area housing market sees record January as coronavirus pandemic continues to push sales

The Baltimore-area housing market saw another record month of buying and selling activity as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep home inventory low and push price points higher.

Despite a limited supply of properties for sale, the month of January had more closed sales than any other January in a decade, with 2,894, more than 15% higher than the same month last year.

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The median sales price also shattered previous January highs at $300,000, down 2% from December but more than 16% higher than January 2020, according to data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime, based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

Fueled by record-low mortgage interest rates and new consumer habits, homebuyers have capitalized on the unusual circumstances precipitated by the pandemic to secure affordable monthly payments, even when borrowing more. Sellers, meanwhile, have seen their properties sell in a matter of days, with many houses even selling out of bidding wars.

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“January kicked off 2021 with the same buyer enthusiasm we saw in the second half of 2020”, said Brian Donnellan, president and CEO at Bright MLS. “Across the Baltimore metro region, the time it took for homes to go under contract once listed declined faster than any time in nearly eight years.”

January, typically one of the slower months for home sales, maintained a quick pace of sales. Properties spent a median of 11 days on the market, down from a 37-day median in January 2020.

In certain counties, the median number of days on the market was even less; homes in Carroll and Harford counties spent a median of seven days on the market before selling, and houses in Anne Arundel and Howard counties had a median of nine days on the market.

In Baltimore County, homes spent a median of 11 days on the market, but certain areas within the county had even faster rates. Homes in Owings Mills spent a median of five days listed before going under contract.

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Baltimore City, which had a decade-high number of home sales, saw a median of 23 days on the market, 19 days fewer than last year.

For the first time in three months, the Baltimore region experienced an increase in new listings month over month, which may benefit purchasers moving forward. Still, it would take about three weeks to sell through the inventory available as the months of housing supply dropped to another record low of 0.78 months.

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