Home sales in Baltimore plunged in May amid the recent ransomware attack on city government computers, including those essential for completing real estate transactions.
The drop in city sales in what is often one of the busier months for home sales contributed to yet another monthly decline in closed sales throughout the Baltimore region. Overall the number of closed sales dipped 1.6 percent to 3,787 in May.
“Although the May ransomware attacks impacted the Baltimore real estate market, the effects could have been much worse,” said Andrew Strauch, vice president at Bright MLS. “June sales should be higher than a year ago as delayed transactions are processed.”
May’s regional decline in recorded home sales marked the ninth consecutive month of such declines.
But last month’s decline could be a ransomware-related anomaly. Not counting the city, overall sales rose nearly 3.2 percent in the five counties around Baltimore and pending sales rose across the region.
New listings continued to rise in May for the third consecutive month, a reversal of a decade-long decline in homes on the market. That decline in inventory had led to an increase in sales prices, with the Baltimore metro area hitting a median price of $293,000 in May, a record for the decade.
Howard County had the highest prices in the region, with a median sales price in May of $420,000, flat from a year ago. Baltimore City had the least expensive homes with a median price of $175,000, up 5.3% from last year.