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Maryland housing market strong, but Baltimore struggles




The housing market in Maryland kept its momentum through November as the state’s major metro areas continued to see increasing sales prices.

Median sales price in the Baltimore metro area reached $254,000, which is a new November record, according to data provided by MarketStats by ShowingTime based on listing activity from Bright MLS. Prince George’s County’s median home sale price increased 4.4 percent and Montgomery County’s median home sale priced increased 7.2 percent.

Maryland Realtors’ numbers found that statewide 300 more homes sold than last November, representing a 5.3 percent increase. That also coincides with an increase in average price statewide from $309,944 in 2016 to $325,129

“The late autumn is traditionally a slow selling season for residential real estate. However, November’s data is very encouraging,” Maryland Realtors President Boyd Campbell said in a statement. “We saw solid increases in homes sold and average and median prices as compared to last year. We anticipate that 2017 will end on a high note.”

Maryland Realtors also continued to find low inventory in the state, which is expected to continue to push housing prices higher. The active inventory in the state last month was listed at 21,430 units compared to 24,049 at the same time last year.

One of the lone negative spots in the state is in Baltimore’s housing market, which has tended be slower in recent decades because of a litany of reasons, ranging from older housing stock to poor perception of city public schools.

Of the six jurisdictions that make up the metro area, the MLS numbers found the city is the only submarket to experience a year-over-year drop in median sales price. The median sales price on a home in Baltimore fell 4.9 percent to $125,000 from $131,000 in November 2016.

Despite a surging national economy, Baltimore has been gripped by violent crime, particularly homicides and shootings, in the wake of riots in April 2015. A sluggish housing market is bad news for a city that has struggled with a declining population for 50 years and pinned hopes for a resurgence on attracting millennials who prefer urban living.

Meanwhile, the suburban and exurban counties in the metro area showed strong increase in the median sales price. The median price of a home in Carroll County increased the most in terms of percentage increase nearly 23 percent from the year before.

Anne Arundel County was the only other jurisdiction to experience a double-digit increase in terms of percentage in median home prices, posting a 13.3 percent increase.

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