Harford County's housing market
For a little while, Harford County's housing market had a double shot of federal stimulus -- the first-time homebuyer tax credit plus New Jersey workers relocating to the region thanks to BRAC. (The base realignment and closure process sent thousands from Fort Monmouth to Aberdeen Proving Ground.)
But the credit expired last year and all the government workers were in place by September. As you can see, the uptick didn't last:
Sales fell 13 percent in June compared with a year earlier, after increasing 15 percent in June 2009 and 13 percent in June 2010.
Why June? Because this is part of an occasional (OK, irregular) blog series looking at Baltimore-area jurisdictions during that month. I'm looking at statistics for June back to 1998, when Metropolitan Regional Information Systems began tracking the region.
What's significant about Harford: Even though the number of home sales is far off the housing-bubble peak, more homes changed hands in June of this year than in June 1998, when MRIS began keeping records. Regionwide, sales were down 18 percent.
The price situation in Harford is pretty interesting, too:
Harford's average sale price is down 20 percent since peaking in 2007. The county's median -- typical -- price is down a less dramatic 14 percent from the peak, which happens to have hit a year later.
But here's the really notable stat: The median price in June 2010 was almost back to the county's bubble-year peak before falling again afterward. (It reached $259,950, compared with $261,000 in June 2008.) As you can see from the graph, the average price also headed back up last year but didn't get quite as close to the peak.
For comparison's sake, the median price in the Baltimore region as a whole was 14 percent lower in June of last year than it was at its peak three years earlier. The drop from the peak to this June was nearly 19 percent.
If you're especially interested in Harford County, check out this piece about where workers with the biggest organization BRAC'd to Aberdeen Proving Ground ended up moving. And you can see all the sales statistics by going to MRIS's stats arm, RealEstate Business Intelligence.
Next (and last) up: Howard County.