New-home sales remain sluggish in metro area

Real Estate Watch

November 16, 1997

New-home sales in the Baltimore metropolitan area continued at a sluggish pace, according to September figures released by Housing Data Reports.

The Washington-based research firm that tracks sales of new homes reported a 7.8 percent drop from August. When compared with overall sales from September 1996, the region showed a decline of just 3.4 percent.

Carroll County suffered the biggest drop, with a 33.3 percent decline. Harford County dipped 18.8 percent, and Baltimore County was down 9.8 percent for all housing types.

Surprisingly, the biggest drop in September came in Howard County, where sales of single-family homes slumped 29 percent, with 61 sales vs. 87 in August. Likewise, single-family homes in Carroll County dipped 15 percent from August, and Baltimore County was off 5.4 percent.

Only Harford and Anne Arundel counties showed gains in single-family sales. Harford was up 20 percent over August, and Anne Arundel had a 2.6 percent gain.

As for townhouses, the region was off 5.1 percent from August and 9.1 percent when compared with the corresponding period last year.

The one bright spot came in condominiums, where Baltimore County enjoyed a 21.4 percent leap from August and an 82 percent rise over September 1996 sales. Driving the surge were 35 transactions in the Pikesville/Owings Mills area.

Those sales in Baltimore County offset losses in surrounding counties to give the region a 4.1 percent gain over August and a 26.3 percent gain from a year ago.

Pub Date: 11/16/97

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