Mid-Atlantic housing market springs back to life with surge in home listings

New listings up, but so are prices and competition

Mid-Atlantic housing market springs back to life with surge in home listings

Prospective homebuyers in the Mid-Atlantic region have more homes to choose from as new listings have surged compared to last year.

New residential listings across the region rose 14.7% in April 2024 from a year earlier and are up 4.4% year-to-date, according to new data from Bright MLS.

This uptick in supply led to more active listings in all metro areas of the Mid-Atlantic by the end of April 2024 than in April 2023, marking a 17.2% rise after three consecutive months of growth.

“More supply is good news for the housing market, but there is still a long way until we are back to a balanced housing market,” Bright MLS chief economist Lisa Sturtevant said in the report.

The influx of new inventory has provided relief in some hot markets that were inventory-starved in 2023. All major metro areas had higher active listing counts at April’s end than the same period last year.

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In the Washington D.C. metro, there were 6,569 active listings, up 21.8% year-over-year. This increased supply appeared to spur more transactions, with closed sales rising 7.4% and pending sales up 4% from April 2023.

The Baltimore metro area saw its inventory levels at April-end rise 15.7% to nearly 4,000 homes on the market, the highest for that month since 2020. However, homes were still moving briskly, with a median days-on-market of just eight days.

In Philadelphia, new listings outpaced 2023 and all counties except Philadelphia itself had year-over-year listing gains. Demand remained strong as the median home sold in just nine days, a tad quicker than April 2023.

Despite the improved inventory situation, housing affordability remains strained. The region’s median sale price hit a record $410,000 in April as prices rose at the fastest annual pace (10.9%) in two years in the Philadelphia area.

However, the increase in inventory has not dampened buyer activity. Closed sales in April 2024 were up by 7.6% compared to April 2023, with both closed sales and new pending sales only slightly trailing last year’s figures, down 0.9% and 0.4% year-to-date, respectively.

The median days on market for homes sold in April was eight days or less, indicating that competition among buyers remained fierce.

“Affordability is a big challenge, and we see signs that summer buyers are holding back—like the fact that new listings are up, but showing activity is low,” Sturtevant said.

So while more options give buyers some reprieve, robust demand and high prices may keep the market competition intense heading into summer.

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