March 2020

Maryland Housing Market Vitality



Maryland metro area house prices are forecasted to track the national market. Current local conditions support an estimated 7.8% increase in the next twelve months. Maryland’s housing market vitality, based on the eight metro housing markets which comprise it, is the same as that of the overall U.S. and currently ranks the state as twenty ninth in the nation. Recent changes in local conditions suggest the possibility of improvement in short-term performance.

Housing Market Vitality

Housing Market Vitality summarizes the impact of economic conditions on future house prices. A value of 100 corresponds to conditions supporting current prices; values less than 100 correspond to a dampening effect; and values greater than 100 indicate a positive effect on house prices.  A housing market vitality value can be interpreted as a forecasted growth rate. Hence, a reading of 105.8 can be interpreted as a forecasted 5.8% annualized increase in house prices.

Maryland Metro Housing Markets

Maryland is comprised of eight metro housing markets that account for nearly 97% of the state’s population. The markets are unique in their demographics and local economies and exhibit trends that are distinct from the national or state narrative. Each metro market presents its own unique opportunity.

Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD Track 313
Cumberland, MD-WV Track 329
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV Track 305
Salisbury, MD-DE Outperform 164
Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Track 200
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Outperform 57
Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ Underperform 371
California-Lexington Park, MD Outperform 105

Industry Specialization

Maryland’s state economy is specialized in Pro Bus svcs, Construction, and Information. Mining, Manufacturing, and Trade Trans Util industry sectors are less important to the state economy compared to the national economy.

Industry specialization helps explain the differing impact of industry trends on local economies in contrast to industry composition which describes the structure of the economy. A Specialization Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the sector having a greater share of the state economy than it does of the national economy. Sectors with a Specialization Index greater than 120 characterize the local economy.


Compared to the U.S., there is a lower incidence of poverty amongst Old Line State residents and they have greater purchasing power. There are more high school graduates and a larger proportion of the population is college educated. Maryland’s population is comparatively more diverse than the overall U.S. population.

A Demographics Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the factor being more intense in the state versus the national average. Characteristics of the local population is a longer-term factor that influences the housing market.