Baltimore's metro area is a study in contrasts, with both hardscrabble inner city neighborhoods and lush suburbs. Row houses in poor neighborhoods can sell for $50,000 or less but the area's median home price is $299,000, nearly 50% higher than the national figure.
The city's proximity to Washington D.C. has enabled Baltimore's residents to reap the benefits of well-paid government and corporate jobs. Its western suburbs, with their easy commute to D.C., are among the area's most expensive.
Meanwhile, local hiring at Johns Hopkins Hospital and University, as well as other area institutions, has been on the rise, according to Dean Cottrill, president of Coldwell Banker Mid-Atlantic.
All of this has helped to push home sales higher. "Buyers have been eating up the inventory," said Cotrill.
Prices climbed nearly 5% in the 12 months leading up to September and they are expected to record another 8% in gains this year, according to CoreLogic's forecast.