Governor O’Malley Highlights Encouraging Trends in Increased Home Sales and Rising Home Prices in Maryland
Median home sales price in June reached its highest level in nearly three years
BALTIMORE, MD (July 19, 2012) – Today Governor Martin O’Malley was joined by Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, realtors and homeownership advocates to promote the positive movement of key housing trends including the rise of home sales and increase in home prices in Maryland. Home sales statewide increased for the fifth consecutive month in June, marking the most home sales in one month since June of 2010. Also, the state’s median home sales price increased for the fourth consecutive month to $268,910, representing the fifth consecutive year-over-year increase and the highest monthly figure in three years.
Baltimore City’s median home sales price increased by 6.1 percent for the month of June and rose 46.2 percent above last year, making it the largest year-over-year increase among the 24 Maryland jurisdictions, according to the Maryland Association of Realtors.
“Given that the economic recovery is tied to the stabilization of the housing market, I am proud to say that we are finally seeing some encouraging signs that Maryland’s housing market is moving forward,” said Governor O’Malley. “The rise in the number of home sales and home prices is good news for home owners, good news for home buyers, and certainly good news for our economy.”
According to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, much of the recent increase in home sales and prices are due to the tightening of the supply of homes for sale throughout the state; approximately 5 percent below the supply in May and about 28 percent less than the last year’s supply.
Residential building permits, a leading indicator of construction activity, increased by 24%, in May, fueled by a rise both multifamily and single family permits.
Governor O’Malley’s announcement comes on the heels of recent state initiatives to promote homebuying. In honor of June’s National Homeownership Month, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development earmarked $30 million which allowed its Maryland Mortgage Program to offer a 2.875 percent interest rate (APR 3.675 percent) to homebuyers in federally targeted areas throughout the state such as all of Baltimore City. For more information on targeted areas, please visit http://www.mmprogram.org/TargetedAreas.aspx .
In early July, the department launched Maryland Homefront: The Veterans and Military Families Mortgage Program, a $50 million effort which offers a half percent discount off the prevailing MMP interest rate and $10,000 in downpayment and settlement assistance to qualified current and former service members.
The Maryland Mortgage Program offers a variety of low-interest, fixed-rate mortgage loan options with downpayment and closing cost assistance, primarily for first-time homebuyers. Purchasers in targeted areas and qualified veterans do not have to be first time homebuyers.
“The goal of the Maryland Mortgage Program has always been to support qualified homebuyers who want to make the important investment of owning a home,” said Secretary Skinner. “Now more than ever, the safe, secure loan products and closing cost assistance we provide can make the difference between whether or not our young professionals and workforce and military families can begin to build that foundation of personal wealth.”
Maryland Mortgage Program loans can be combined with funds from applicable Partner Match programs and assistance from the local jurisdictions to maximize savings for homebuyers. In Baltimore City for example, prospective homebuyers may also benefit from stackable incentives offered by the Vacants-to-Value Homeownership Program and Healthy Neighborhoods Inc.
Information on these local incentives can be found on http://www.baltimorehousing.org/vacants_to_value.aspx and www.healthyneighborhoods.org , respectively.
The Maryland Mortgage Program has been the state’s flagship mortgage purchase program for more than 30 years. Managed by the department’s Community Development Administration, loans are administered by a network of approximately 35 private lending institutions across the state. For more information on the Maryland Mortgage Program, its Downpayment and Settlement Expense Loan Program, please visit www.mmprogram.org or contact the Community Development Administration by phone at 410-514-7535 or by e-mail at SingleFamilyHousing@mdhousing.org.
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