November home sales in the Baltimore metro area
A. 36 percent
B. 63 percent
C. 77 percent
It's "C." ("A" was October's increase.)
That's far and away the biggest increase on record, though of course the record only goes back to the late 1990s when Metropolitan Regional Information Systems started tracking the area. This sure suggests that lots of people were waiting until what they thought was the last minute to get that $8,000 credit for first-time home buyers. (The credit was supposed to expire after Nov. 30. Instead, it was extended and expanded.)
The 2,247 homes sold last month is well above November 2007 as well as November 2008, but it's below previous Novembers on record. (Well below the bubble years, as you can imagine.)
Most deals take longer than a month to close, so presumably a large portion of these deals were struck before November. But the number of contracts signed last month in the metro area was also up -- just not a 77 percent sort of up. The increase was 24 percent over the previous year.
Average sale prices fell about 8 percent in the region.
Want more stats? You'll find MRIS data here.
So what do you predict for December? Or, for that matter, after the credit expires next year, assuming it does?