Home sales in area increased 5% in Jan. Wintertime gain called good sign

February 08, 1994|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,Sun Staff Writer

Sales of new and previously owned homes in the Baltimore metropolitan area rose 5 percent in January, the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors said yesterday.

During the month, 1,273 home sales went to settlement, compared with 1,209 in the preceding January.

The Realtors' board viewed the figures as a positive sign of continued growth in the region's residential real estate market, especially during a typically slow winter month.

"The number of units pending is slightly down, but this January was a cold and icy month, which made it very difficult for buyers to get out and put a contract in on a home," said Nancy C. Hubble, president of the board.

The number of units pending -- those under contract prior to settlement -- dropped 11 percent from the same period a year ago, from 1,068 to 948. Pending sales often indicate future sales trends.

The average price of a home remained about the same -- $128,332 last month, compared with $128,259 in January 1993, the board said. Settled sales rose throughout the region, except in the city and in Howard County.

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