Baltimore-area home sales up 36%
You could see it coming as the number of new contracts mounted this summer, but I still said "woah!" when I saw the number of home sales that went to settlement in the Baltimore metro area last month: 2,219, up 36 percent from a year ago.
To put that into perspective, the year-over-year increase in September was just under 10 percent.
It was only last week that the $8,000 credit for first-time home buyers was extended (and expanded), so there were clearly a lot of people who arranged to close on homes last month in order to get the money before it was set to expire Nov. 30.
And buyers were still active last month. Pending deals -- new contracts signed -- jumped 65 percent from a year ago, according to Metropolitan Regional Information Systems.
Average sale prices continued to decline, down 8 percent from a year ago.
Just to put the buying spree into perspective: The number of homes sold last month is still less than sales in the month of October from 1998 through 2006. And far less compared with the bubble years.
Did you buy or sell last month?