Building activity runs ahead of '94
Maryland construction contracts for the first three quarters are running around 2.5 percent ahead of last year, according to the F. W. Dodge Division of McGraw-Hill.
This year's activity was boosted significantly by a substantial increase in infrastructure spending -- such as highways, utilities and other facilities.
In September, this category totaled $466.5 million, compared with $112.4 million in September 1994.
Residential construction contracts for the month were down almost 16 percent, from $226.2 million in 1994 to $195.2 million in September 1995. Nonresidential construction contracts were up 14 percent, from $122 million in September 1994 to $139.5 million this fall.
Sales of condominiums, co-ops on the increase
National sales of previously owned condominiums and cooperatives increased nearly 10 percent over the summer, according to the National Association of Realtors.
While the sales rose only slightly -- 0.2 percent -- from the third quarter of 1994 to the third quarter of this year, the increase from this year's second quarter to the third was 9.6 percent.
"The steadiness of the condominium and cooperative real estate market compared to a year ago and the healthy rise in the sales pace from just a quarter ago indicate that fears over job security and economic stability among consumers are waning," said NAR President Edmund Woods Jr.
The national median price for existing condominiums and cooperatives during the third quarter of this year rose 2.3 percent, to $88,000. NAR Chief Economist John A. Tuccillo said the rise in condo and co-op sales reflects the fact that more first-time buyers and retirees are entering the market.