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June 11, 2010

53% drop in new contracts from April to May

If you're a housing-market watcher, you were bound to be curious how the end of the first-time home buyer tax credit would play out. We'll have to wait longer for the bottom-line result, but the immediate effect is a wallop.

Buyers signed 53 percent fewer contracts for Baltimore-area home purchases in May than they did in April, according to Metropolitan Regional Information Systems. The year-over-year decline -- the way we normally compare -- was more than 30 percent.

Read more about it in today's story. (And see what Richard J. DeKaser, a housing-market researcher who once put the Baltimore metro area on an overpriced-markets list, thinks of values now.)

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 12:01 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Housing stats


Honestly, I'm surprised anyone is still buying the new homes at all. The developers must think it's still 2006. I understand that they probably plan many years and advance and there isn't much undeveloped land left to begin with, but c'mmon now.

All new construction in, say, AA and HW counties can be divided roughly into two categories: 1) places you don't want to live in and 2) McMansions.

I was recently driving on the Airport loop and saw a new Ryan Homes site right next to BWI. It's literally across the fence from the airport. Then the pricing. "From 360s" means the cheapest stripped down model is $369,999 where even the kitchen island is optional.

Then the floorplans don't make any sense and are clearly designed to increase the builders profit, not the buyers convenience. Why is the master bedroom on the front side, facing the neighbors garage, while 3 other bedrooms enjoy the tranquil views in the rear? Really, I want to know.

On the other end of spectrum are the 1-acre estates. How many more of those do we need?

Haven't the developers heard about the recent "less is more" trend and "green" home concepts? They seriously need to catch up with their customer base because it ain't 2006 and no one is buying those crappy homes next to the freeway ramp anymore.

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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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