Maryland officials are sending A Call for Action on Foreclosure Relief.

Maryland officials delivered an alarming forecast of continuing erosion in the state’s housing market as lawmakers started work yesterday on a key portion of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s legislative agenda aimed at slowing the rate of home foreclosures.

About 23,000 homes entered foreclosure in Maryland last year, and the number of foreclosure actions increased by 38 percent from the third to fourth quarter, Housing Secretary Raymond A. Skinner said at a hearing yesterday of the Senate Judiciary Proceedings Committee.

Skinner said Prince George’s County continues to be the hardest-hit jurisdiction in the state, with 28 percent of all foreclosures occurring in the majority-black county.

The Senate committee heard testimony on three bills proposed by O’Malley (D) to change the rules governing the mortgage lending industry and help people at risk of losing their homes.

The bills would provide consumer protections and impose disclosure requirements on foreclosure consultants. The legislation also would create a mortgage fraud statute, including penalties for mortgage fraud.

Maryland, Virginia, and D.C Housing In Pictures

The following are charts from Leonard Wallace, Broker and President, Realty 1, Inc., 109-B Centerway, Greenbelt, MD 20770.

Prince Georges County MD

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Washington D.C

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Montgomery County MD

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Anne Arundel County MD

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Arlington County VA

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Leonard Wallace Writes:

This market is similar to what we saw in the DC area in the early nineties, but the drop has been more precipitous. While the number of sales in most zip codes are down 50-60%, buyers are ready when homes are priced appropriately.

I’ve dusted off my old marketing programs from that era that work in a buyer’s market. I sold a single family home in Lanham, Maryland in January with 74 showings and 14 competing offers after 2 weeks on the market. Creating interest and competition is the key to selling a home in 2008.

Any seller that plans on ‘waiting it out’ may be very disappointed. The last downturn started in 1990 and didn’t fully recover until 2000. You can include my e-mail soldbyleonard@gmail.com for anyone in the Maryland suburbs that needs marketing ideas.

Flashback 2005

Anyone remember the mantra that D.C. was immune to a slowdown because of all the senators and congressman etc., and because there was so little space to build? Nationwide, every area said to be immune from busting is now in the bust phase.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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