New-home sales lagging last year despite July rise


New-home sales in the Baltimore metropolitan area for July rose a modest 1.45 percent over the same period last year, according to statistics released by The Meyers Group.

Meyers reported that 701 units were sold in July, compared with 691 in July 1998.

But while net sales for the month are slightly up, year-to-date numbers still fall short of 1998 year-to-date sales, down 3.52 percent. So far 5,626 units have been sold compared with 5,831 at the same time in 1998.

"July numbers demonstrated new homebuyer urgency in the face of rising mortgage interest rates," said Anna Pitheon, regional sales director for The Meyers Group.

"Year-to-date activity lags behind last year's pace primarily because there are fewer projects selling today. The Baltimore metropolitan region has 15 fewer single-family sites, 15 fewer townhouse sites and five fewer condominium communities actively selling," Pitheon said.

Condominium sales showed the strongest increase in July, up 10 percent from 80 to 88.

Sales of single-family homes in July remained virtually unchanged from last year's numbers, while townhouse sales decreased 5.81 percent for the month, to 243 from 258 in 1998.

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