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Baltimore Best for Home Appreciation, Study Says

Baltimore Best for Home Appreciation, Study Says
Baltimore Best for Home Appreciation, Study Says

Since 2003, Baltimore area home prices increased more than those in any other area in the United States, according to a study by

,  a mortgage and appraisal software company based in Mississippi. "In Baltimore, home values increased at a robust 7% annual rate, higher than any other U.S. metropolis since the real estate bubble burst," company spokesperson Lynda Edwards said in an e-mail. "Senior FNC economist Yanling Mayer conducted the study, which found long-term homeowners triumphed in Seattle and Washington, D.C., where annual home values increased 5.7% and 4.5%, respectively. San Antonio (3.2%), Nashville (2.8%), St. Louis (2.4%), Portland (3.8%) and New York (3.1%) homes appreciated for long-term owners." FNC uses home sales data, appraisals, and other public information to model home-price trends differently than the leading indexes such as

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and

. The FNC model tries to account for location and changes to the property over time, for example, whereas Shiller uses repeat sales of the same property to impute house value trends. FNC is paid by the mortgage lending and appraisal industries, Edwards says. The latest findings involve data from the past decade. Home values in the

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—which covers everything from the northern Harford County line clear past Westminster in the north, down past Annapolis to the south, and part of the Eastern Shore—more than doubled between 2000 and 2007, according to FNC's rankings, putting it ahead of many other metropolitan areas. But when the bubble burst, the Baltimore area saw less decline than frothy markets such as

. By July 2010 they had fallen only to March 2006 levels. Result: Those who bought in and around Baltimore in the early part of the decade are still ahead of the game. Even those who bought at the peak—if they weren't part of some kind of scam—could still have equity. Whether this means Baltimore's market is resilient and a good value or just has farther to fall is still a question.

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