Howard County Real Estate Values and Expectations Stay Strong as Area Home Market and Economy Outpace Nation

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Columbia, Maryland-based McKenna Real Estate reports that amidst talk of a cooling-down national real estate market, a flurry of recent major news reports have called Howard County one of the most attractive economic hubs in the nation. The local real estate economy now looks poised to continue its upward trajectory in the Baltimore/Washington corridor.

Marlyand housing market, economic news

Howard County, Md. housing market update

Maryland is a place where people move for work, and where people stay to build their careers and their families. Even as prices remain stable, the Baltimore-Washington region will likely remain an active real estate market.

It might not come as a huge surprise that affluent and attractive Baltimore-Washington corridor suburbs like Columbia, Ellicott City and Clarksville have appreciated large home value gains in 2013 - but the extent of that growth and its future potential, according to economists, accredited publications and local real estate agents, sheds a positive light on the future of Howard County real estate.

“The market in Maryland, and Howard County in particular, is continuing to move in a upward direction,” says Michael McKenna of McKenna Real Estate in Columbia, Md. “Nationally, 37 percent of homes are selling at or above list price. For our firm, 41 percent of our listings have sold at list price or above in 2013. Most of the remainder is in the 93 to 99 percent range.”

And the reason for this growth, according to multiple news and third-party sources, can be linked heavily to one of the most prosperous economies in the nation. To start, a September 30th article from The Baltimore Sun mentions the U.S. Census Bureau ranking Howard County as having the second-highest median income of any county in the nation. Also, finance website NerdWallet.com just called Howard County the 8th best county in which to work, in the U.S. And if that’s not enough, the 2013 “Enterprising States” report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation ranked Maryland as the No. 1 state for entrepreneurship and innovation nationwide.

After all, with the ascending trajectory of both business and bank accounts in this affluent, family-friendly enclave, it stands to reason that investors would be scooping up the tight Howard County home inventory at a time when national economists are predicting home values only to rise in the coming months. Specifically to this point, The National Association of Realtors® stated in its September Confidence Index report that 92 percent of the industry professionals it polled expected stable or increasing prices over the next year, with a 4 percent expected median price increase on homes overall. And in an area like Howard County—recognized nationwide for its economic gains, top-tier schooling systems and exceptional quality of life—those estimates could end up being an understatement.

“Maryland is a place where people move for work, and where people stay to build their careers and their families,” says Michael McKenna. “Even as prices remain stable, the Baltimore-Washington corridor will likely remain an active real estate market.”

In taking a brief glimpse at those prices, data tracker Real Estate Business Intelligence saw $131.896 million dollars of residential properties sold in Howard County in August 2013, which was up 4.4 percent year-over-year from August of 2012. This included a 7.04 percent increase in the average sales price of Howard County homes. And as for a more granular piece of data, a September 30th report from real estate analytics company Altos Research saw the saw the median list price for Clarksville homes at $999,999. For those who warn that the market is cooling off, that figure represents a six-month high for home values in one of the most affluent areas in all of Howard County. And given that Altos listed only 35 properties for sale in Clarksville as of that report, it stands to reason that there’s excitement in the air about Howard County real estate.

McKenna explains: “From Columbia and Ellicott City to Clarksville and Glen Elg, the quality of life and the opportunities for career advancement in the Howard County area are some of the very best in the entire nation.”

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Rachel Rusnak
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