Home prices rising in many markets, but not Balt. area
A real estate data firm says home prices rose in all major metro areas in the last four months save for two places -- one of which is Baltimore.
Prices in the Baltimore metro area dropped 1.8 percent in the March through June period, compared with the previous three months, according to the California-based Clear Capital. The only other large market it recorded price declines in was Bridgeport, Conn., down 2.5 percent.
Our region has been on Clear Capital's "lowest performing major markets" list for a while. It was sixth in the last report.
Among the gainers were 10 metro areas with double-digit increases -- yes, just compared with the previous three months. Memphis was No. 1 with a nearly 21 percent jump.
Our cousin to the south, the Washington metro area, was up 7 percent, the 14th largest increase.
Want to guess why so many regions showed price gains?
Yeah, not exactly a hard question:
"Price trends nationwide have a seen a considerable upswing driven in large part by the flurry of recent sales attributed to the tax credit and springtime buying activity," Alex Villacorta, Clear Capital's senior statistician, said in a statement. "This month's national quarterly gains are certainly a positive sign that many markets have responded to the tax credit incentive, but overall markets remain volatile as evidenced by the six month price change keeping mostly flat."
Some metro areas, meanwhile, are still "as much as 54 percent below their 2006 peaks," he said.
Baltimore wasn't nearly that hard-hit, which could be part of the reason prices continued to fall during the tax-credit months while other areas rose. Certainly, the number of Wonk commenters saying that local homes for sale are overpriced outnumbers those arguing the reverse. In a recent poll here about how market conditions are affecting renters' ability to buy, the most popular answer was, "I haven't bought yet because prices are still too high for me."
What happens in the D.C. area does ripple outward, though. If prices continue to rise around the nation's capital, it's probably only a matter of time before the trend comes north.
How much time? No idea. It's probably hard for anyone to say if prices will continue to rise around the nation's capital from here out out, considering that this spring was goosed by the tax credit.
A note about the Clear Capital data: The firm draws its sales figures from assessors' and recorders' offices, calculating price by comparing repeat sales of the same homes over the years.
It might seem odd to look at the most recent four months rather than three, but there's a reason for that: In order to include the month that just ended, with data that could be incomplete, the company throws in an extra month of sales for balance.