« Principal reduction among suggestions by state task force | Main | Youngest homeowners least satisfied with homeownership »

January 20, 2012

How home prices in the Baltimore area stack up

Home prices in the Baltimore area fell about 4 percent last year, which is either bad or good, depending on your perspective.

If you take the position that it's bad, chin up -- dozens of metro areas had bigger drops.

But even more regions had smaller losses or actual increases.

That's according to a new report prepared for the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Council for the New American City, which looked at a variety of vital signs -- including home prices -- in metro areas across the country.

Ninety of the 363 metro areas saw the typical price for resold homes rise between the end of 2010 and the end of last year, with a few others holding steady. Almost 130 additional metro areas recorded drops that were smaller than the Baltimore area's.

Just over 140 regions, meanwhile, had even bigger price declines. Top of the loss list: Merced, Calif., down 20 percent (about $20,000).

The Baltimore area's loss worked out to a $9,000 drop over the year. None of the gaining areas had an increase that large, but several topped $5,000.

The biggest gainers on a percentage basis:

1. Danville, Va., up 9 percent to $94,000

2. Elmira, N.Y., up 7 percent to $106,000

3. Joplin, Mo., up 6.3 percent to $89,000

4. Bismarck, N.D., up 5.1 percent to $150,000

5. Casper, Wyo., up 4.7 percent to $155,000

What they all have in common: Their typical home price is lower than the Baltimore metro area's, which was $226,000 at the end of last year. But the areas with the biggest losses are also on the relatively low side, with typical prices under $125,000.

Here, for your amusement and edification, is a ranking of the 30 metro areas with the highest median prices:

Metro areaMedian home price%
Honolulu, HI $589,279-1.4
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $477,890-3.4
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA $404,392-5.7
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA $393,415-7.6
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT $382,276-2.8
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA $381,391-5.0
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA $361,243-5.1
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV $324,585-1.8
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA $320,449-7.3
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA $320,328-10.7
Boulder, CO $308,4270.6
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH $304,316-3.2
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA $304,045-9.8
Barnstable Town, MA $290,426-4.1
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA $277,660-9.4
Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA $274,233-10.4
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA $272,050-7.5
Napa, CA $271,059-10.8
Ocean City, NJ $262,474-8.6
Salinas, CA $248,043-12.9
Bellingham, WA $247,655-5.8
Santa Fe, NM $240,474-4.6
Trenton-Ewing, NJ $239,294-5.8
Anchorage, AK $238,8981.1
Corvallis, OR $237,342-1.5
Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY $234,859-5.7
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA $226,847-4.2
Baltimore-Towson, MD $226,176-3.8
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO $223,372-1.5
New Haven-Milford, CT $220,371-2.6

Reminder: The Baltimore metro area includes the five counties around Baltimore, so the typical price reflects a mix of urban, suburban and rural communities.

Baltimore is actually higher in the ranking if you compare it only to the most populous places. Some not-quite-so-large regions, like Honolulu, are also not at all cheap.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 6:00 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Housing stats


It would be my guess that total volume (price x number of homes sold) is up significantly year over year in Balitmore. That is a very significant sign that inventory is being burned off to the point where pricing will begin to increase.

Well, sales and average prices were both down in 2011 (at least that's what the preliminary numbers show), so total volume would also be down.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Name-calling aimed at other commenters is not welcome here. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

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

Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Baltimore Sun Real Estate section
Archive: Dream Home
Dream Home takes readers into the houses of area residents who have found their ideal home.
Sign up for FREE business alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for Business text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Sign up for the At Home newsletter
The home and garden newsletter includes design tips and trends, gardening coverage, ideas for DIY projects and more.
See a sample | Sign up

Charm City Current
Stay connected