"For the highest price point in the market … we're very encouraged by that rate of absorption," Cohan said.
- The Real Estate Wonk blog
- Top 10 most expensive homes in the Baltimore region in 2013 [Pictures]
- Local housing market Top 10s for 2012 [Pictures]
- Most expensive Baltimore-area communities 2012 [Pictures]
- Most expensive Baltimore-area communities [Pictures]
- Housing market Top 10s in the Baltimore area in early 2012 [Pictures]
See more photos »
"We've increased our standards," said Cynthia DeFrancesco, Continental's executive vice president. "We've also increased the thresholds for our security deposits."
The swath of the rental market that's harder to measure is the thousands of Baltimore-area houses, rowhomes, townhomes and condominiums that either have tenants or are on the market to get some. Improved trends for apartments aren't necessarily helping these smaller landlords because the rough housing market cuts both ways here. Many owners who can't sell have opted to rent, increasing supply.
Vikki Taylor, a property manager in Long & Foster's Columbia office, said rents are on the rise compared with late 2009. But Lois Foster, a Baltimore real estate agent who helps people find homes to rent and manages properties for owners-turned-landlords, said she's seeing rents of $200 to $500 less a month than owners could have gotten two or three years ago. There's just a lot of competition, she said.
Business, though, is booming.
"I've always had a steady flow, but this year has been better than all the rest," said Foster, who has run Property Management Service Associates for 12 years.