- Counties that have seen the largest spike in sales represent some of the most affordable markets in either metro.
- Year-over-year home price appreciation in D.C. proper will be around 5 percent.
- Later recovering counties should attract more first-time buyers.
In the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore metros, single-family housing conditions in 2016 should closely mirror last year. This means DC and Baltimore home sales activity should continue to increase.
Home values are expected to increase slightly in DC and remain relatively flat in Baltimore, according to Andrew Strauch, vice president of product innovation and marketing for online real estate service MRIS.
Two year-end reports from RealEstate Business Intelligence, which are based on MRIS data, show DC and Baltimore’s sales volumes as having increased by 9.4 percent and 18.8 percent, respectively, last year when compared to 2014.
Affordability is and will likely be the primary driver of sales volume, as the DC metro’s median sales price rose on a year-over-year basis by only 1.1 percent to $410,000. In Baltimore, overall home values remained flat, with a median value of $240,000.
Prince George, Harford counties standout
Last year, the DC and Baltimore submarkets that saw the largest year-to-year rises in sales volume were also two of the most affordable counties in those metros.
In DC’s Prince George’s County, sales volume in 2015 equated to a nearly 15 percent annual increase. At the same time, the county remained the most affordable area in the region with a median price of $235,000, this despite year-over-year appreciation of 6.3 percent.
According to Strauch, Prince George’s represents a late recovering market that is still catching up to the rest of the DC metro, thus the stand out increase in home values.
In the Baltimore metro, Harford County experienced the largest increase in annual sales volume with 3,422 transactions last year. This total equated to a 27.2 percent annual rise. Similar to Prince George’s, the median home price in the county sat at $235,000, aided by price appreciation of only 1.3 percent.
While Strauch expects a slight acceleration in the number of new listings in both metros, the continued increase in sales activity will eliminate any hopes of inventory growth in 2016.