Real Estate Transactions

Commercial real estate boom reaches Baltimore

Commercial real estate boom reaches Baltimore

The jaw-dropping $121.5 million that an investor paid last month for Fells Point's Union Wharf apartments was the starkest example yet in Baltimore of how a booming national real estate market is pushing some firms to turn to smaller, riskier cities.

Nationwide, sales and prices have climbed to levels comparable to those in years leading up to real estate crash, with some $425.7 billion in transactions and about $400 billion in loans made last year, according to Real Capital Analytics and the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The activity has been driven by firms flush with stock market gains and money from foreign investors competing in a sector considered relatively safe and...