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BUSINESS
Jamie Smith Hopkins | March 5, 2012
In what sort of housing market do sellers and buyers complain that it's rough out there? This one, apparently. The number of homes officially for sale has fallen substantially, both foreclosures and regular listings, leaving would-be buyers with fewer choices. And yet many homeowners are in the wish-I-could-sell group, unhappily off the market, because they can't afford to move at today's prices. Read all about it . But wait! There's more. This is the latest of our twice-annual analysis of the housing market down to ZIP codes in the region and neighborhoods in the city, so the story comes with a lot of extras.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman and The Baltimore Sun | June 10, 2014
The number of homes on the market in the Baltimore region rose to the highest level in more than two years in May, while there was little change in the number of sales or the median price compared to last year, according to a monthly report published Tuesday. The RealEstate Business Intelligence report found continued "flat buyer activity" for the month, with 2,767 homes sold at a median sales price of $250,000, metrics unchanged compared to last year. The numbers point to a possible plateau in the market, after months of slow, but steady recovery.
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BUSINESS
Jamie Smith Hopkins | August 20, 2012
Which neighborhood in Baltimore has had the most home sales this year? Which ZIP code in the region is the priciest? And perhaps more to the point: What's going on in your area? Get those answers with our newest installment in housing-market number crunching. You can check out interactive maps. Here's the change in average price by ZIP code , the change in sale numbers by ZIP code , the change in price by city neighborhood and the change in sales by city neighborhood . You can play with our searchable database , which has all the figures by ZIP code.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | May 8, 2014
The state has started a new tax credit program designed to help make home ownership more affordable for working families, Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner said Thursday. The Maryland HomeCredit program allows eligible buyers to claim a federal tax credit worth 25 percent of interest paid on a mortgage -- up to $2,000 annually -- for the life of a loan, as long as the property remains a primary residence.   To qualify, a buyer's income and the price of the property must fall below certain limits, which vary by location.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins | jamie.smith.hopkins@baltsun.com | January 9, 2010
Home sales in the Baltimore metro area appeared to rise in 2009, ending a protracted slump that began after the frenzied buying of the housing bubble peaked in 2005. Buyers closed deals on almost 22,200 homes last year, up 3 percent from the year before, according to preliminary numbers provided Friday by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems and analyzed by The Baltimore Sun. Those numbers could change when the multiple-listing service revises its figures next month, but early trends suggest the final figure for home sales will go up. "I think that what we're seeing is the housing market is definitely bottoming out," said Andy Bauer, regional economist at the Baltimore office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
NEWS
By Steven Soifer and Wade Rathke | October 12, 2010
Sometime in 2006, the U.S. housing market began to decline. By October 2007, the nation's housing crisis was so bad that the U.S. treasury secretary called it "the most significant risk to our economy. " Until the housing crisis ends, the Great Recession cannot end. The same kind of bold government action that saved the banking system during the Great Depression is necessary to allow the U.S. economy to fully recover now. The housing crisis not only continues, but it is worsening.
BUSINESS
Jamie Smith Hopkins | April 25, 2012
Real estate search site Zillow is predicting that the Baltimore region's housing market will hit bottom this summer. Zillow's chief economist, Stan Humphries, said the company expects an L-shaped recovery here and in most markets, with a substantial period of flat values or small increases. He said the forecast for the end of price drops in the Baltimore area is based on several factors, including the current slowdown in declines and lower-than-average foreclosure activity.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | May 9, 2011
House beautiful, this isn't: The yard is overgrown, the windows are boarded up, there's a big gash in the first-floor ceiling and the roof has holes. Mark Whitten was delighted. The real estate investor, who looks for homes he can flip to landlords and rehabbers, figured he could immediately find a buyer for the vacant North Baltimore rowhouse, probably someone who would fix it up and rent it out. "I'm going to make an offer and try to get this property under contract today," Whitten, 29, said as he walked through the derelict home last week.
NEWS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | January 10, 2012
The Baltimore region's housing market posted the fourth straight year of average price declines in 2011 as the number of home sales hit a low not seen in at least a decade and a half. The average home sold last year in the metro area changed hands for about $262,000, down 4 percent compared with 2010, according to a Baltimore Sun analysis of preliminary figures released Tuesday by Metropolitan Regional Information Systems. Home sales also dropped 4 percent. The roughly 22,000 homes sold in the region — Baltimore and its five surrounding counties — represent the smallest number on record at MRIS, which began tracking the region in 1997.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | November 23, 2010
From the Real Estate Wink blog: In today's topsy-turvy housing market, the number of homes that soon could be for sale is just as important to know as the number that actually are. Here's why: The so-called "shadow inventory" of seriously delinquent borrowers whose properties are in danger of landing on the housing market in Maryland are so numerous that these homes would take a full two years to find buyers at August's pace of sales, according...
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman and Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | April 10, 2014
Even as the housing market recovers nationwide, echoes of the mortgage lending crisis continue to reverberate in Maryland, home to the nation's second-highest foreclosure rate last month. One in every 527 housing units in the state was touched by a foreclosure filing in March, the 21st consecutive month of year-over-year gains and the second highest rate in the country behind Florida, according to a monthly report by RealtyTrac, a California real estate firm. Meanwhile, median home prices in the Baltimore region remained flat, and distressed properties continued to make up an elevated share of sales, according to new reports on the regional housing market released Thursday.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | January 9, 2014
Prepare for a year of more in the real estate industry - more improvement, mostly, but also more expense as mortgage rates, prices and rents rise. Analysts expect a solid 2014 here and nationally, after a year in which the battered housing market got on firmer footing. They predict home values will continue rising and expect to see more choices for home buyers as higher prices pull in more would-be sellers. Moody's Analytics is forecasting an 8 percent rise in average home prices in the Baltimore region this year, compared with a 5.6 percent increase last year.
NEWS
December 28, 2013
During the last recession, more than 90 million people - a third of the nation's population - saw their incomes fall below 200 percent of the federal poverty line, or about $46,000 a year for a family of four. Many of those individuals and families have never recovered, and as a result states across the country are now facing what U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan calls "the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has known" as rising rents threaten millions of Americans with homelessness.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | December 10, 2013
Home prices in the Baltimore metro region continued a slow and steady climb in November, while sales grew sluggish, a seasonal trend exacerbated by economic uncertainty. Home prices rose just over 4 percent in November compared with the same time last year, according to a Tuesday report by RealEstate Business Intelligence, a subsidiary of MRIS. Prices have been rising at about that rate for almost two years, although the numbers still fall short of the pre-recession peaks. The median sales price in the Baltimore metro area was $239,450 in November, up from $230,000 in November 2012, but below November 2006's $270,000, according to the RBI data, which are based on listing service information.
NEWS
November 20, 2013
It was bad enough that the Baltimore County Council created bad policy and bad precedent when it blocked construction of new affordable housing in the Rosedale community this week. What was worse was how it was done, in such transparently bad faith. This decision wasn't the result of a rational discussion about how to meet the housing needs of the county's growing population of low-income residents. Rather it was the raw expression of a universal cry among fearful homeowners: "Not in my back yard!"
FEATURES
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | October 31, 2013
If you want to get the best price for your home, should you: A. Ask for more than you think it's worth? B. Ask for exactly what you think it's worth? C. Ask for less and count on a bidding war to push you over the top? A study in the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization this year argues that the answer - despite what you've probably heard - is A: overprice. Underpricing doesn't work for the average seller, the authors say. They suggest that pricing high pays off in an extremely modest way, a boost of about $100 to $200 on average over similar homes.
BUSINESS
Jamie Smith Hopkins | May 21, 2012
Here's a phrase you probably didn't expect to hear associated with the housing market so soon after the crash: Bidding war. They've been roaring back into suddenly-hotter-again areas in recent months. Now they're a lot more common here, too -- in a milder way than during the bubble years, but surprising nonetheless. Online real estate brokerage Redfin says nearly half of its Baltimore-area buyers' offers in the first three months of the year had competition. Some buyers are using escalation clauses again to try to avoid being outbid.
NEWS
August 8, 2013
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as it turns out, were a pleasant fiction. The quasi-government guarantors of mortgage loans seemed like a good deal for Americans during all the years when they helped guarantee the availability of affordable, long-term home loans without any apparent cost - and, at times, with great private gain for their shareholders. But their true cost became all too real when the government's implicit guarantee of Fannie and Freddie was made explicit during the housing crisis.
NEWS
July 23, 2013
It is no wonder that no affordable housing is being planned at Harbor Point despite the $107 million tax subsidy being sought ("What Harbor Point is asking for," July 21). The affordable housing bill passed by the City Council in 2007 was never intended to be functional. It was doomed to failure from the very start. It merely served as an "opiate for the people," despite the fact that it was brought about by faith communities to deal with the injustices in Baltimore City's housing market for low-income workers.
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