(Baltimore Sun analysis…)
You've probably noticed if you're looking to buy a home: The choices out there really shrunk in the last year.
That's been a theme in the 2012 housing market, here and elsewhere. Locally, it's driven by fewer foreclosures (well, for now, at least), a pickup in sales and plenty of homeowners who might like to move but can't or won't sell at today's prices.
All told, about 12,700 homes were listed for sale in the Baltimore metro area in May, less than in May 2006, when more than 13,700 homes were for sale. The inventory is at its lowest level for May since 2005, in fact -- but at that point, just 5,700 homes were for sale because nothing stayed on the market long.
May inventory peaked in 2008 at nearly 20,000 and hovered just above 17,000 the next three years before taking a sharp drop.
The statistics, from Rockville-based RealEstate Business Intelligence, paint an interesting picture. Homes newly listed in May are down to particularly low levels. And contracts newly signed in May are rising -- not as fast as homes for sale are dropping, but just shy of May 2007 levels.
The chart above shows the drop in homes for sale (also known as "active listings") over the years. Click on the related items to the left for charts showing the change in newly listed homes for sale and newly signed ("pending") contracts.
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