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October 15, 2007

Investors and city home sales

Investors -- rehabbers, landlords and plain speculators -- flooded into Baltimore City during the housing boom, sure they were getting great deals. So have they flooded right back out now that sales have dropped, prices are flat and some of them have defaulted on their loans?

Nope.

The number of homes they're buying has decreased, but not back to pre-boom levels. I tracked activity in the first half of recent years with data from the state Department of Assessments and Taxation, which notes whether purchasers are regular homeowners or "non-owner-occupiers":

CityHandN.gif

Perhaps you're wondering why the overall decline in homes sales isn't as dramatic as the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems numbers suggest. (Good eye, if so.) The most obvious explanation is that these represent all sales, not just ones listed with an agent. If you know of another reason, let me know.  

Or perhaps you're wondering why I didn't make a graph showing how the percentage of investor buys has changed. Actually, I did. So there. 

Read on ...

CitySalesInvestorPerc.gif

Again, that's looking at the first half of those years, not the full year.

I'm curious to hear your thoughts about why investor buying remains at an elevated level and what this means for the city. Comment here or just drop me a line at jamie.smith.hopkins (at) baltsun (dot) com -- replacing the "at" and "dot" with the appropriate symbols, of course. Death to spam.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 1:42 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Number-crunching
        

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
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