Howard County remains an attractive market for home buyers despite the bruised economy, according to recent figures reported by a county realty group.
Sales of single-family homes rose 25 percent in March from the same period last year, with prices averaging $168,545, according to the Howard County Association of Realtors Inc.
Last month, 204 home sales were settled in Howard County, compared to 163 sales in the same period last year, the group said.
"I think people are beginning to have some sense of hope for our economy, feeling better about it," said Concetta Corriere, the group's president. "Things are looking up."
The rise indicates "a busy market" and that people are taking advantage of lower interest rates and fair pricing, Corriere said.
Overall this year, there have been 487 units sold, compared to 443 the same time last year, Corriere said. That represents a 10 percent increase.
Settled home sales in Howard County for the year are averaging $174,584, Corriere said.
She said the sales trend may continue into this month, which is normally a goodsales month.
Pending sales this year, meanwhile, have risen 20 percent from 623 in 1991 to 748 this year, Corriere said. Likewise, thenumber of condominiums sold last month in the county jumped 95 percent from 19 units in 1991 to 37 in 1992, she said.
The average price for a condominium was $92,426 in March, Corriere said.
County home sales were similar to sales in metropolitan Baltimore.
The Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors reported earlier this month that 1,484 homes sold in Baltimore in March, up from 1,167 home sales in 1991 -- a 27 percent increase. Sale prices averaged $124,639, the board said.
Another realty group, the Baltimore Regional Council of Governments, said the number of new homes constructed in the county in February grew from 89 in February 1991 to 142 in February 1992 -- a 60 percent increase.