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April 18, 2009

The spring home-buying season: a pick up?

Here's a bit of good news for folks with a home on the market: Pending sales in Maryland last month were up more than 7 percent from a year earlier, to about 5,600, according to the Maryland Association of Realtors. (The number of homes on the market decreased by about the same percentage, taking the inventory of unsold properties below 45,000.)

Contracts and contingent deals rose most in the Washington suburbs -- up a whopping 56 percent in Prince George's County, 53 percent in Frederick and 32 percent in Montgomery. No idea how much the buyers are intending to pay for those homes, but average prices for deals that closed last month fell nearly 20 percent in all three counties.

In the Baltimore area, pending sales rose in Carroll (13 percent) and Howard (3.5 percent). Pending deals were essentially flat in Anne Arundel. They fell 4.7 percent in Harford, 6.7 percent in Baltimore County and almost 11 percent in Baltimore City.

Do the differences come down to price? Hard to say, without knowing what those pending deals are going for.

In the Baltimore metro area as a whole, at least, asking prices do seem to be down significantly. According to HousingTracker, they've decreased 10 percent from a year ago and 18 percent from two years ago for the median house. That two-year difference is a $60,000 cut.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 10:38 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Housing stats
        

Comments

"Contracts and contingent deals rose most in the Washington suburbs -- up a whopping 56 percent in Prince George's County, 53 percent in Frederick and 32 percent in Montgomery."

These 3 counties had the most foreclosures last year in the state. The inventory of foreclosures from the summer and fall are on the market this spring.

That's the housing market. The REO's are the market. The stuff for sale privately is overpriced and sitting.

This is what happened in Southern California last year. Of course people will buy because housing is starting finally come down from stupid pricing and is coming back to income reality. This is why the free market will correct this, not socialist programs that do nothing but slow this correction and cost taxpayers money. Bailing out people who wanted something they could not afford is going to cost us billions.

Expect this to roll into the Baltimore suburbs later this year as the foreclosure moratoriums are lifted.

"In the Baltimore metro area as a whole, at least, asking prices do seem to be down significantly. According to HousingTracker, they've decreased 10 percent from a year ago and 18 percent from two years ago for the median house. That two-year difference is a $60,000 cut."

Yep and they went up over 100% in most areas. Guess what we are about 1/2 way through this. With rising unemployment and the reality that you actually have to have a downpayment and not be a dead beat to buy a house prices will come down and stay down for a long time.

With rentals coming down now in price the pressure to buy is even lower.

In a year the only people that will be able to sell are the baby boomers with lots of equity. They have already lost a good amount of there retirement. They will be able to undercut those who bought in the past 5 years. Basically till incomes start to rise significantly do not expect prices to come back.

Glad I avoided buying this year. Hoping Harford county prices get hammered. Stupid pricing is still the rule there. Toll Brothers is still trying to get peak bubble prices in their Cedarday neighborhood (complete with plastic sided homes, zero-lot line properties sloped at 30 degrees, and streets so narrow that cars pass each other by driving on the sidewalk)

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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.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie
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