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2016 was a great year for Maryland real estate. But how does Maryland stack up against the national market, and what’s in store for 2017 and beyond?
Four Years Running for Maryland Real Estate Market
2016 caught many Maryland realtors by surprise. It was a fantastic year for the Old Line State, as 2016 marked the fourth year in a row that property values rose in Maryland. Though the appreciation wasn’t universal nor uniform across the state, a recent report from the Department of Assessments and Taxation found that of more than 750,000 residential and commercial properties assessed, the average increase in values was almost 6.5 percent.
How Does Maryland Real Estate Stack Up?
As of January 2017, housing inventory was down 11% on average in the top 100 metropolitan areas. In 2016, home prices rose 4.9% in the nation. The greatest regional appreciation was seen on the West Coast, where prices rose an average of 5.8%. Home prices are expected to rise a further 3.9% nationwide in 2017, with 6% increases on the East Coast.
Baltimore’s Price Gains and Affordability Concerns Mirror Nation
Interestingly, the home price gains were strongest in counties near Baltimore and Washington. Rural counties showed little change in home prices and even slight declines. This trend mirrors the rest of the nation. Location will remain the driving force behind home price appreciation and affordability, as outside large metropolitan areas, few homebuyers will have to spend more than 20% of their income to buy a home.
What’s the National Prediction?
Many existing homes were sold in 2016. 5.8 million of them. But the National Association of Realtors thinks that number can be beat in 2017, predicting 6 million this year. Meanwhile, more bullish on housing is the Mortgage Bankers Association, which predicts 6.5 million existing home sales for the year. Why, you may ask?
The steady job creation and increasing wages will help to offset the burden of higher interest rates and borrowing costs. Plus, Millennials and Gen Xers are now buying homes in droves and consumer confidence in housing has “never been higher”. Can’t argue with that – but you still need a title agency that can help you capitalize on the demand.
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