Photo by Dan Moyle/Flickr Creative Commons.

While it may not feel like it to local homebuyers, Maryland ranks among the states with the lowest home price increases in the past five years, according to new data released Wednesday.

Home prices have skyrocketed in recent years. And that is reflected in Maryland’s data. But with an increase of nearly 34%, the state still had the fourth-lowest price hike in the country.

Local real estate agents know that’s cold comfort to many would-be buyers.

Tracey Clark, a real estate agent with Baltimore’s Compass office, says the biggest pressure on prices locally is on the middle market – homes from $400,000 to $800,000. 

“I think it has a lot to do with lack of inventory,” she said. “There aren’t enough homes being built to meet demand. And we’re seeing more competition for individual houses than we haven’t see for many years.”

House prices in Maryland currently average $382,154, the data from Boulder Home Source, a Colorado real estate firm, found. The company said its data was analyzed by the national real estate website Zillow.

North Dakota had the lowest increase at 22.7% while Idaho had the steepest rise with a whopping 90% increase.

Clark said she’s not seeing as much pressure on first-time buyers and people seeking luxury homes. And she said many quality neighborhoods, in Baltimore City in particular, can provide affordable options for homebuyers.

But Clark acknowledged prices have risen across the spectrum.

“Particularly, first-time homebuyers are struggling with affordability because of the drastic increase in rates over the last year,” Clark said. “It’s impacted their buying power and prices have not come down to compensate so they just have to be ready to swallow that extra cost.”

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Tim Swift

Tim Swift is a local freelance writer and the former features editor for the Baltimore Sun.

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