Bright MLS April Housing Report: Not a Typical Spring Market in Mid-Atlantic, High Rates and Prices Subdue Market Activity in Most Regions
Median home price in region $380,974, down for first time after 86 consecutive months of year-over-year price growth; however, median price in Mid-Atlantic still more than 30% higher than pre-pandemic
Closed sales down 29.0% year over year, and new pending sales were down 21.1%
New pending sales up 4.1% compared to March, a smaller-than-typical springtime bump
NORTH BETHESDA, Md., May 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Elevated mortgage rates and a cooling economy have led to a slower, less certain housing market in the Mid-Atlantic region, as the typical busy spring home buying season has yet to materialize, according to the Bright MLS April Market Report released today.
Pending home sales increased between March and April, but the month-to-month bump was lower than a typical spring market, when home listing and buying activity is usually more energized. Inventory remains critically low, with homes still selling very quickly. With just 1.32 months of supply across the region, home shoppers are finding only one-third of the number of homes for sale that they would have seen back in 2019.
While higher mortgage rates have eroded buyers’ purchasing power, it’s a mixed picture for home prices across the region. Prices fell in the Washington, D.C., metro area market, though in other markets across the Mid-Atlantic region, prices are still rising or have stabilized.
Showing activity was down year-over-year (-23.0%), marking the 14th month in a row that the number of showings has tracked below a year earlier. New listings were down a staggering 35.6% in the region, as sellers have not been enticed to list their homes, a sign that the uncertainty in the spring market could remain in place heading into the summer season.
“The Mid-Atlantic housing market has not warmed up like it would have during a more typical spring,” said Bright MLS Chief Economist Dr. Lisa Sturtevant. “The effect of the relatively high mortgage rates and uncertainty in the economy are definitely having an impact on overall market conditions. Still, despite the macro signals that the housing market is slow, buyers in the market who want or need to move might disagree. Homes are still selling very quickly, and there is a lot of competition for relatively few homes for sale.”
Beginning this month, Bright MLS is expanding its monthly reporting to include Central Pennsylvania, Maryland/West Virginia Panhandle, Maryland Eastern Shore, Del/Mar Coastal, Southern Maryland and North Central Virginia.
Key Market Takeaways
The Philadelphia metro area housing market has been stronger than any of the other Mid-Atlantic housing markets. In April, however, high mortgage rates and persistent economic uncertainty finally had a noticeable impact on buyers’ purchasing power, resulting in a 26.5% year-over-year decline in closed sales. The number of new pending sales rose between March and April, but the increase was slight. Home prices continue to rise, but the price growth has slowed, with prices posting the smallest year-over-year gain since June 2020. The metro’s lack of available homes for sale persists, with active listings increasing just slightly in April and months of supply in the region at 1.42.
The Baltimore metro continues to be a tale of two markets with the suburban housing markets outperforming the city. At $360,000, the median home price for the Baltimore metro was unchanged from a year ago, but home prices in the city were down 3.2%. Prices rose across the region’s suburban markets. New pending sales are also stronger in the suburbs, with Howard County seeing a 14.3% month-over-month increase. While the number of closed and pending sales continue to track below last year’s levels, buyers are snatching up available inventory quickly with half of all homes in the Baltimore metro selling in a week or less. Despite an increase in active listings, inventory remains low, with months of supply at 1.16 and inventory 40% below April 2019’s level.
Typically more insulated by market swings, the Washington, D.C., metro housing market has slowed to a crawl with closed and pending sales down significantly year over year. At $586,000, the median home price in the metro area fell for the second consecutive month. The median home price in the Washington, D.C., region is still nearly 30% higher than it was before the pandemic. Buyers weren’t the only ones pulling back in April; sellers, too, were few and far between, prompting a 4.1% decline in active listings. The lack of available inventory is keeping the market competitive for buyers who are looking to close on a home. The median days on market was seven. There was just 1.16 months of supply in the region, and inventory was less than half of what it was in April 2019.
About Bright MLS Bright MLS was founded in 2016 as a collaboration between 43 visionary associations and two of the nation’s most prominent MLSs to transform what an MLS is and what it does, so real estate pros and the people they serve can thrive today and into our data-driven future through an open, clear and competitive housing market for all. Bright is proud to be the source of truth for comprehensive real estate data in the Mid-Atlantic, with market intelligence currently covering six states (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia) and the District of Columbia. Bright MLS’s innovative tool library—both created and curated—provides services and award-winning support to well over 100K real estate professionals, enabling their delivery on the promise of home to over half a million home buyers and sellers monthly. Learn more at BrightMLS.com.