Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Increase in sale prices - Baltimore Edition
Home sales in the Baltimore metro area rose in December, breaking a five-month streak of plummeting activity as buyers were enticed back into the market by competitive mortgage rates and prices.
But it is unclear whether the 8 percent increase in the number of homes sold last month signals a bottoming out of the struggling housing market. For all of 2010, the number of homes sold in the Baltimore region fell 3 percent from the year-earlier period, according to figures released Monday by the area's multiple-listing service.
Real estate experts attributed the bump-up in sales in December to a number of factors — increased confidence about the economic recovery, greater selection and pricing as inventory has piled up and low interest rates. Buyers raced to lock in more affordable mortgage loans before rates rise, as they are expected to do. Fixed rates on 30-year mortgages averaged 4.77 percent last week, near historic lows.
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