Small declines in Baltimore-area home prices
The slump in home prices was less severe in the Baltimore metro area over the past four months than it was in most large regions, according to a new analysis that compares recent housing-market performance with the spring period.
Prices fell less than 1 percent in the metro area, ranking the metro area sixth, says real estate data firm Clear Capital. One other metro area had a smaller drop -- San Jose, Calif. -- while four posted price increases.
That's a turnaround from earlier in the year, when the Baltimore area showed up on Clear Capital's "lowest performing" list. The region apparently didn't feel the upward pull of the first-time home buyer tax credit as much as some markets, places in hangover mode now that the federal incentive is gone:
Clear Capital's "lowest performing" list is peppered with "lower-priced markets that reacted positively to the tax credits of the last eighteen months, and are now giving back the short term gains, and then some," the firm says.
The number of home sales slumped in our metro area post-credit, however. In May, the month after the deadline to sign contracts, new pending deals declined more than 30 percent compared with a year earlier and even more sharply vs. April, according to separate figures from Metropolitan Regional Information Systems.
Clear Capital's figures do show prices in the Baltimore metro area down 4.7 percent year-over-year, despite the smallish quarterly drop. That's out of sync with most of the regions on the "highest performing" list -- two-thirds are up vs. a year ago.
Here are those top 15 markets, as measured by quarter-over-quarter change:
Clear Capital draws its sales figures from assessors' and recorders' offices, calculating price by comparing repeat sales of the same homes over the years. In order to include October, with data that could be incomplete, the company throws in an extra month of sales for balance -- thus the "four months vs. the previous three" comparison.
We'll get to see October housing-market figures for Baltimore and all its suburbs on Wednesday -- from prices to the pace of sales -- when the firm that runs the multiple-listing service releases its monthly statistics.