Baltimore area home sales brisk for fifth month

November 04, 1993|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Staff Writer

Home sales in the Baltimore area posted a fifth consecutive monthly increase in October, according to the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.

After a dismal first half of 1993, sales have rebounded amid renewed confidence in the economy and the lowest mortgage rates in a quarter-century.

"It's not one of those things where there's a wild increase, but everything is looking a lot better," said Nancy C. Hubble, president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. "August was good. September was good. October's even better."

In October, the number of settled homes sales for the Baltimore area rose 5 percent, to 1,628, compared with the same month last year. The average price for a home sold in October was $133,553, up 6 percent from last year.

Mortgage rates have been dropping all year, falling below 7 percent in mid-August and reaching 25-year lows in September.

Mrs. Hubble said she was encouraged by an increase in pending sales, most notably in the suburban areas. Pending sales -- sales before settlement -- rose 21 percent.

Sales for the year through October were 14,880, barely changed from 14,745 last year.

For October, sales were up 19 percent in Carroll County, up 10 percent in Howard County, up 7 percent in Baltimore County and down 4 percent in Baltimore City and Harford County.

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