Baltimore-area rental and condo market in early '10
New condos have taken it on the chin in this housing market, but first-quarter sales in the Baltimore metro area were the highest in three years, according to real estate information firm Delta Associates. (There were 119 "net" deals, which accounts for contracts that fell through.)
About 1,700 new condos are ready for occupancy or under construction, so Delta doesn't expect "price traction" until next year at the earliest. Asking prices were down 4.2 percent from a year earlier.
On the up side, the inventory was nearly 2,700 a year ago. Big drop since then.
Here's one vote of confidence that the condo market is turning around: The developers of a 252-unit project planned in Anne Arundel County have switched it from apartments to condos. (A lot of projects have gone the other way since the bubble popped.)
The recession is still weighing on the apartment market. Class-A rental vacancy rates in the metro area bumped upward in the first quarter to 5.6 percent, though Delta says that's a lot better than the national rate of 8.2 percent.
Rents rose 1.6 percent in the Baltimore suburbs vs. a year ago but fell 4.8 percent in the neighborhoods where city apartment complexes are clustered -- downtown, Fells Point and the Inner Harbor.
That's the snapshot Delta is offering. Personal experiences gladly accepted in the comments.