Baltimore still on firm's 'lowest performing' list
As a number of metro areas post home-price gains, the Baltimore market is still declining, a real estate data firm says in a new report.
Prices were down 3.4 percent vs. a year ago and 1.8 percent compared with the previous quarter, Clear Capital said. The quarter-over-quarter drop ranks our metro area among the "lowest performing major markets" -- 13th. (No. 1 on that list is Columbus, with a 10.5 percent quarter-over-quarter decline. Ouch.)
The biggest gainer was Providence, R.I., up more than 6 percent quarter over quarter. But the gainers and decliners averaged out for the nation as a whole, which posted flat prices, Clear Capital said.
This isn't the first time we've been on the big-decline list. The upside -- if you're a homeowner -- is that the year-over-year price drop isn't as large now as it was at the end of last year.
Clear Capital also says bank-owned property isn't a growing part of the Baltimore-area housing market. Those types of homes add up to 15 percent of the market, same as at the end of last year. The share is edging up in a lot of other major metro areas. The Baltimore market was the only one in the lowest-performing group that didn't go that direction.
There's been a lot of discussion about the "shadow inventory" of foreclosures or soon-to-be-foreclosures that haven't hit the market. Clear Capital, in a nod to this concern, says the market isn't glutted yet, "hinting that the banks are being very circumspect in how they release inventory."
That's got to be a relief to some homeowners. But others here have argued that it's artificially inflating prices -- and extending the slump -- by holding back true supply. Where do you stand?
Clear Capital, which draws its sales figures from assessors' and recorders' offices, calculates price by comparing repeat sales of the same homes over the years. Its most recent "quarter" is actually four months rather than three -- ending in February. In order to include recent numbers, which come from data that can be incomplete, the company throws in an extra month of sales for balance.