Maryland Home Prices In Spring Fell Almost 8%, In City About 9%

August 26, 2009|By Jamie Smith Hopkins | Jamie Smith Hopkins,jamie.smith.hopkins@baltsun.com

Maryland home prices during the spring selling season were down almost 8 percent compared with a year earlier, the federal government said Tuesday.

The decline was 11th-largest in the nation, though a far cry from the more than 20 percent price drops in the battered housing markets of Nevada and Arizona.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said U.S. home prices in April through June were down about 6 percent from a year earlier. Compared with the first three months of the year, prices were down less than 1 percent nationwide.

"For the second consecutive quarter, we are seeing much slower rates of depreciation ... than in 2008," Edward J. DeMarco, senior deputy director of the agency, said in a statement. "This is further evidence that prices may be stabilizing for the nation as a whole."

The agency's figures track repeat sales of the same single-family homes, an effort to compare apples to apples. Only deals financed by mortgage giants Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are included.

Home prices rose faster in Maryland during the housing bubble than the national average. They're still about 15 percent higher now than they were five years ago, compared with 6.7 percent appreciation nationwide, according to the housing finance agency's calculations.

In the Baltimore metropolitan area, prices fell about 9 percent in the spring from their levels a year earlier. Even so, they were 18 percent higher than Baltimore-area prices in the spring of 2004, the housing finance agency said.

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