Housing Market Slowly Reviving

by Anirban Basu 24. October 2012

Home Sales Prices on the Rise in Maryland


A recent survey indicates that America’s optimism regarding the housing market’s recovery has improved significantly. According to Fannie Mae’s September 2012 National Housing Survey, a monthly poll of 1,000 homeowners and renters, more respondents expect home prices to rise in the next year (37 percent) and the share anticipating declining home prices is down to 11 percent. It is worth noting that such attitudes tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies. People are generally willing to pay more for an asset that they expect to appreciate in value. Importantly, 19 percent of those surveyed say now is a good time to sell, the highest level since the survey began in June 2010. More buyers and sellers translates into a more active market, and that’s good for realtors, title companies and of course, the buyers and sellers themselves.

Already, that renewed confidence working in conjunction with record low or near-record low mortgage rates is having an impact. According to the National Association of Realtors, national existing home sales rose 7.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million in August, up from 4.47 million in July. The number of existing home sales is now 9.3 percent higher than year-ago levels. The national median existing home price for all housing types was $187,400 in August, up 9.5 percent from one year ago.

Maryland’s housing market is also improving. According to data supplied by MRIS and the Coastal Association of Realtors, home sales rose 3.5 percent in July on a year-over-year basis, 9.6 percent in August and 6.1 percent in September. Average and median prices have expanded in Maryland for seven consecutive months through September. Statewide, average sales prices were up 6.1 percent since September 2011 while median prices increased 6.8 percent.

Looking Ahead


Many economists believe that the housing market bottomed toward the end of 2011. This year has been one of improvement, as low mortgage rates, ongoing job creation and growing confidence have ushered forth welcome market dynamics. Unit sales and prices are up and forward looking indicators are also promising. Pending sales in Maryland were up on a year-over-year basis in both August and September. Statewide, pending units were up from 4,986 in September 2011 to 5,609 in September 2012, an improvement of 12 percent. Increasingly, realtors can credibly claim that the best time to buy is now and that if prospective buyers wait too long, they may miss out on highly advantageous mortgage rates and will end up paying more for the dream.

They may also have fewer choices from which to select. The active inventory of unsold homes in Maryland continues to decline. In September 2011, months of inventory stood at 8.5 months. One year later, inventory had dropped to 6 months, which means that market equilibrium has been achieved at last. Presently, seven Maryland jurisdictions have months of inventory below this level. Based on pending sales, inventory is likely to continue to fall, increasing prospects for additional home price appreciation.

 

Anirban Basu is Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., an economic and policy consulting firm in Baltimore, Maryland. Basu is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's most recognizable economists, in part because of his consulting work on behalf of numerous clients, including prominent developers, bankers, brokerage houses, energy suppliers and law firms. On behalf of government agencies and non-profit organizations, Basu has written several high-profile economic development strategies, including co-authoring Baltimore City's economic growth strategy. His opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of 1st Mariner Bank.

Flacco Fridays Continues

by Stacy Tharp 24. October 2012

Flacco Fridays

 

***This Contest is Now Closed***

 

We have completed our first five weeks of Flacco Fridays, and your level of participation has been extraordinary! In order to keep you on your toes, 1st Mariner Bank and Team Flacco have decided to introduce a brand new series of weekly contests that will take place over the next few weeks. This contest series will put your attention to detail to the test!

How will it work?
  • Each Monday at 10:00 a.m., two pictures of Joe Flacco will be posted on 1st Mariner Bank’s Facebook wall.
  • Participants must find the five differences between the two photos, then send 1st Mariner Bank a private, direct message on Facebook describing the five differences.
  • The fifth person to accurately describe the five differences wins!
When can I enter?
  • The pictures of Joe will be posted on 1st Mariner Bank’s Facebook page each Monday at 10:00 a.m. You may begin submitting your entries then. The first contest will begin on Monday, October 29th at 10:00 a.m.
  • Participants will have until each Wednesday of that week at 11:59 p.m. to enter. (But remember, you must be the fifth person to correctly identify the five differences to win!)
  • The winner will be announced on 1st Mariner Bank’s Facebook page before 5:00 p.m. on each Friday that the contest runs.
What can I win?

Each week, the fifth person to correctly identify the five differences between the pictures via a direct message to 1st Mariner Bank on Facebook will win a piece of autographed Joe Flacco merchandise!

Click here to read the full terms and conditions.

Tip: If you “like” Joe Flacco’s and 1st Mariner Bank’s Facebook pages, you will get news feed alerts detailing information about each week’s contest over the course of the football season.

Good luck!

We Found Out How You REALLY Feel...and We're Thrilled!

by Erica Starr 22. October 2012

Conversation Report

 

Wouldn't it be great if banks could get a report on what customers ACTUALLY thought about their products, services and overall offerings? No, we’re not talking about focus groups or surveys. We’ve all done those before, right? They may be helpful for banks like us to gain some insight as to how our customers gauge our services, but wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow be a fly on the wall during some of those un-administered conversations?

Even better, wouldn’t it be great if 1st Mariner Bank was mentioned in that report as one of the front-runners as innovators of social media in the banking industry? Oh wait, we were…

Source: The Conversation Report

Back in June of 2012, Social Media Explorer put together “The Conversation Report: What Consumers Are Saying About Banking.” They primarily monitored online conversations across the country using online market research tools, social media monitoring tools and other indexing services. This means that they used actual, real data from individuals discussing their financial institutions in their own “habitat,” on their own time.

And, drumroll please…your hometown, community bank, 1st Mariner Bank was recognized for our social media efforts. How ‘bout them apples?

A big thanks to the folks over at Social Media Explorer for recognizing 1st Mariner Bank in their national banking report. Check out more about “The Conversation Report: What Consumers Are Saying About Banking.”

If you’d like to take a peek behind the curtain and see what all the hype is about, come check out our social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or sign up to get our blog posts sent directly to your inbox.

What do you think about your services here at 1st Mariner Bank? As always, we’d love to hear your feedback. The good, the bad, the ugly, the wonderful? Any feedback is good feedback in our eyes.



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