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Strong housing trends in Baltimore caused by coronavirus pandemic continue through October

The Baltimore region saw another month of furious housing market activity, with properties continuing to sell at a rapid-fire pace and median sales prices reaching a record high for the month of October.

The median number of days homes stayed on the market dropped to eight days, down from an all-time low of nine days in September and 22 days lower than in October 2019, according to data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime based on listing activity from Bright MLS.

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Median sales prices remained steady at $320,000, reflecting the housing market’s overwhelming consumer demand and limited inventory supply.

Fueled by historically low mortgage interest rates and newly realized needs for additional home space, some buyers have taken advantage of the conditions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic to purchase properties. But the lack of available inventory, exacerbated by appliance shortages, skyrocketing lumber prices and prolonged uncertainty due to the public health crisis, have stalled typical selling behaviors, data show.

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“October saw the continuation of the strong marketplace that started with the turnaround back in June,” said Brian Donnellan, president and CEO at Bright MLS, in a statement.

Similar housing trends have developed in the neighboring metro areas of Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., he added.

Certain regions of the Baltimore metro area — which includes the city as well as Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties — fared particularly well in October.

In Anne Arundel County, median sales prices have shot up to all-time highs of $399,900, up 15% from the same time last year. Townhomes, typically cheaper than their detached counterparts, sold at a decade high volume there.

Baltimore, meanwhile, also had its busiest October in a decade, according to MLS data analyzed by Live Baltimore, the city’s marketing arm.

More than 940 homes sold in the city, up 26% from last year, data show, and the median sales price reached a decade high of $175,000. Only seven months in Baltimore’s history have recorded more than 900 home sales, and three of them have taken place in 2020, according to the analysis.

Of Baltimore City’s more than 250 residential neighborhoods, 245 saw homes sold through an agent on a multiple listing service this year, with the most popular choices being Belair-Edison, Frankford, Pigtown, Brooklyn, North Harford Road, Loch Raven, Glenham-Belhar, and Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello.

“We have never seen an October quite like this,” said Annie Milli, Live Baltimore’s executive director, in a statement. “In unprecedented times, it is particularly encouraging to see gains across all of our market groups.”

Attached homes also have been selling at record volumes in Baltimore County, which saw a 10-year record of attached home closings. Median days on the market in Owings Mills dropped to six days. Other suburban communities such as Sykesville, Mount Airy and Aberdeen reported median days on the market of seven days or fewer.

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