Real Estate Wonk: October home sales in the Baltimore metro area

From the Real Estate Wonk blog:

Here's a snapshot of how the housing market in the Baltimore metro area looked in October:

--Home sales dropped 30 percent vs. a year earlier, when buyers were rushing to get the first-time home buyer tax credit

--The number of homes changing hands totaled less than 1,600, the smallest amount in the month of October for at least 12 years (that's how far back the records go)

--Average prices fell just over 1 percent, to about $272,000 (though remember to take this calculation with a grain of salt)

--"Ouch" stat of the day: It would take four-and-a-half years to sell all the $1 million-plus homes on the market at the current pace of deal-making. (Home sales in this price range dropped, unlike in September.)

The new figures, released by an arm of Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, show the drop in sales ranging by county. The biggest decline was 39 percent in Baltimore County. The smallest was 19 percent in Howard County, closely followed by Harford County's 22 percent drop.

Every time I write about home prices in the Baltimore metro area, someone inevitably looks at the average price and thinks that's for the city. So just to be clear: Metro area. Metro area. Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County. (The federal definition includes Queen Anne's County as well, but most local number-crunchers leave that Eastern Shore jurisdiction out.)

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