Snowstorm hampers Maryland housing markets

Daily Record Business Writer//February 10, 2016

Snowstorm hampers Maryland housing markets

By Adam Bednar

//Daily Record Business Writer

//February 10, 2016

Sales of homes in Maryland’s metropolitan area increased in January, but a snowstorm slowed the markets.

In the Baltimore metro, year-over-year figures showed market sales rose by 16.1 percent, median prices increased 4.8 percent and inventory declined by 4.7 percent, according to RealEstate Business Intelligence’s analysis of MRIS data.

But the median price increase is the result of a jump in one category: townhomes. Meanwhile, single-family and condo prices were down.

Pending contracts decreased from the previous January by 3.1 percent. And the number of new listings fell 4.7 percent year over year.

RealEstate Business Intelligence chalked those declines up to the snowstorm that blanketed the area late last month.

Despite some softness in the numbers, a 14th consecutive month of double-digit sales increases and a 21.6 percent increase in sales volume from last year show the market is generally in strong shape.

The Washington, D.C., metro housing market did not perform as well as its neighbor to the north.

The market, which includes the capital, Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland, saw median sale prices drop 2.5 percent from last year.

New contracts in January fell by 8 percent, new listings were down 5.3 percent and year-over-year inventory growth is anticipated to turn negative this year, according to RealEstate Business Insider.

But there were also several positive indicators for the market as well.

Sales volume in the market reached $1.25 billion, which is a 2.7 increase from last January. Monthly sales also were strong with an overall 5.8 percent increase and with every property type posting a boost.

Prince George’s County remained the cheapest place to buy a home in the metro area. The median sales price was $241,000; that’s an increase from $217,000 the previous year.

Montgomery County was the second-most affordable place to buy a home around D.C. Its median sales price actually slipped from $371,000 last year to $360,000 at the start of 2016.

The start of the year is usually a down time for home sales, but a stronger performance at the start of year bodes well for the spring season. That’s when the market is typically at its strongest.


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