Existing-home sales in Md. rose 10.6% last year

Real Estate Watch

February 24, 2002

Total existing-home sales in Maryland climbed last year to 112,000 units, up 10.6 percent from 101,000 units sold in 2000, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Maryland's existing-home sales market outpaced the national growth rate of 3 percent for the similar year-to-year period. The NAR figures include single-family homes, apartment condominiums and co-ops.

Nationwide, existing-home sales rose in 40 states and remain unchanged in Delaware. Home sales fell in nine states and the District of Columbia, according to the NAR.

David Lereah, the NAR's chief economist, noted that low interest rates, particularly in last year's fourth quarter, were the most significant factor in the increased sales.

"Mortgage interest rates in the fourth quarter were almost a percentage point below the same period in 2000. Combine that with a growing number of households who have the desire and means to afford housing, and strong home sales are a fairly reasonable result," he said.

Regionally, the South had the highest year-over-year increase with 4.48 percent, while existing-home sales declined 1.43 percent in the West.

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