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Steep Price Jumps Can’t Keep Buyers Down

The ever-climbing housing prices don’t seem to be holding buyers back. In fact, according to recent data, three of the nation’s biggest cities—Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.—are all seeing steep sales inclines over the year.

According to recent data from MarketStats by ShowingTime and based on listing activity from Bright MLS, sales volume in Baltimore is up 10.2 percent since last May—a jump of more than $1.2 billion. In Washington, D.C., volume’s up 7 percent over the year, or $3.1 billion.

In Chicago, sales data from RE/MAX and MRED show sales transactions up 6.2 percent for the year, and according to Jack Kreider, EVP and Regional Director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois, that’s quite the anomaly—in Chicago and across the nation.

"Demand for homes remains strong across much of the metro area," Kreider said. "Eventually, the decline in inventory levels should start to restrain sales activity, but that hasn't happened yet. Right now, it can be a challenging environment for buyers, but it's an excellent one for sellers. If you put your home on the market today at a realistic price, you can expect it to find a buyer pretty promptly."

It seems tight inventory and high prices can’t hold buyers down. Despite steep drops in inventory (down 16 percent over the year), D.C.’s median sales price climbed 7 percent over the year, and in Baltimore and Chicago, it rose 4.1 percent and 6 percent, respectively. The current median price in each city is currently $273,625 in Baltimore, $249,000 in Chicago, and $460,000 in Washington, D.C. For comparison’s sake, the national median sales price is about $198,000, according to Zillow.

According to Kreider, if trends like these continue, America’s biggest cities may start to rival their pre-recession performances. As RE/MAX reported, “May’s [Chicago] results approximated those for May 2006, when sales totaled 12,409 homes at a median sales price of $250,000 and average market time of 85 days.”

Days-on-market is another stat that has steep increase as of late. In Chicago, it fell from 87 to 77 over the year, while in Baltimore and D.C., it dropped to 19 and 10 days. Baltimore’s 19 days-on-market is the lowest monthly level the city’s seen in 10 years.

About Author: Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a longtime writer and editor from Texas. Her resume boasts positions with The Dallas Morning News, NBC, PBS, and various other regional and national publications. She has also worked with both the Five Star Institute and REO Red Book, as well as various other mortgage industry clients on content strategy, blogging, marketing, and more.

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