Charm City as Baltimore is often called lies on the Patapsco River, which is a portion of the larger Chesapeake Bay. While Baltimore is often known for its crab cakes and proximity to the nation’s capital, there is more to this large city than meets the eye. With a metro area population of more than 2.5 million people, Baltimore is the 24th largest city in the country and has a bustling economy all of its own. When added in with the population of Washington D.C. and other surrounding areas, the numbers grown to more than 8 million people and one of the most important and powerful regions in the world.
The service industry is the majority of employment in the city of Baltimore, with an incredible 90% of the jobs in town falling into that category. Because of the low-paying service jobs that make up most of the employment opportunities, Baltimore has a high level of poverty across the city and a higher crime rate than much of the rest of the country. However, there are still some major companies that make their home in Baltimore. Those include Under Armour, T. Rowe Price, Royal Farms, Legg Mason, and others. Also tourism is an important sector of the Baltimore economy, with visitors coming in search of history, Camden Yards, museums, and more.
Although low-income housing is common to see around the city of Baltimore, there are actually neighborhoods that represent all different economic levels. In fact, the area north of Baltimore is home to many high priced communities with average listing prices for homes going well over $500,000. Some of those neighborhoods include Inner Harbor, Mount Vernon, Guilford, Homeland, Roland Park, Bellona – Gittings, and others. Due to the high incidence of poverty in Baltimore, many neighborhoods have home listings that average less than $50,000. Some of those areas are West Mulbery, Mill Hill, Berea, Shipley Hill, Arlington, Biddle Street, Kresson, Westport, and Lexington. While these neighborhoods don’t have the economic resources to see home prices increase, they can be great investment opportunities.
The majority of the population in the city of Baltimore is Black, with 63% of the total residents being African American. There are 29% White, 4% Hispanic, and 2% Asian, among other races making up the total of the population within Baltimore. The city is slightly older than the national average, with the median age being 35 years. Females outnumber males in the city by about 6%. Per capita income in Baltimore is low at $22,885, which fall in line with what would be expected given the state of the economy in the city and the low cost of housing. Crime remains above the national average, however the rate of violent crime has been much improved in recent years.
Approximately half of the people in the city of Baltimore own their homes, while the other half are renters of various types of properties. Being an older East Coast city, the housing in Baltimore tends to be rather old in terms of the year it was constructed. More than 60% of housing options in the city were built between 1920 and 1959. Single family homes are somewhat rare, with only a quarter of the city living in them. Condo and apartment buildings are by far the more common accommodation in Baltimore.
Although the current economic status is one of higher poverty and service jobs, Baltimore remains home to some of the most respected educational institutions in the country. Most notable is Johns Hopkins University, but there is also Loyola University Maryland and Baltimore International College. Coppin State University and Morgan State University are public universities within the city as well.
The Baltimore real estate market has been slower to pick up than others around the country. Most likely, this is due to the lack of employment opportunities that pay wages sufficient for home ownership. Over the past year, the median sales price of a home in Baltimore has continued to drop, reaching a current level of $161,000. The average listing price has remained steady over that time at $212,000. Both of those numbers are well-below national averages. The number of houses that have been sold has increased dramatically however, rising more than 60% in the year. That increase in supply could be part of the reason that prices have not come along with the rest of the market on a national level.
While Baltimore has struggled in recent times from an economic standpoint, there is still a lot to like about the city. With a beautiful East Coast location and proximity to Washington D.C., it is not hard to imagine Baltimore undergoing a revitalization and once again becoming a major player in commerce and trade. For those that are living in Baltimore and wanting to buy property, or moving to the area, now is a great time to get a good price on a home or condo purchase. Everyone’s price range can be served in this city, so the dream of owning a home in Baltimore can be realized on any budget.
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