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Why 2016 is a good time to buy a home

Posted: 10:42 AM, Jan 15, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-15 10:42:27-05

It’s been about eight years since the mortgage crisis sparked widespread foreclosures and economic problems in Maryland and nationwide.

The market is just starting to rebound, said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.com.

And it’s looking better than ever in Baltimore and the surrounding areas.

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“I see it as a return to normal, in many ways,” Smoke said. 

According to data compiled by the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc., which tracks real estate sales, home sales in Maryland jumped 12.3 percent from 2014 to 2015.

MRIS said the median price of homes increased slightly, from $254,256 to $260,453.

Smoke said Realtor.com data indicates that properties in the Baltimore area are “moving two weeks faster than the rest of the country.”

The ZIP codes that are getting the most page views on Realtor.com, he said, are Ellicott City, Towson and Ruxton.

While he says 2016 is tipped in favor of the seller, Smoke said 80 percent of sellers are also buying.

At the same time, mortgage rates are going up. So if you’re planning to buy this year, Smoke said you should do it sooner rather than later. 

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"It's going to be a lot easier to find that perfect home in January or February," he said. 

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