Steady Employment Growth and a Balanced Sales Market in the Baltimore HMA
HUD’s Comprehensive Housing Market Analyses provide information on changes in local economies, housing markets, and populations and provide 3-year forecasts for demand in the area. This article is part of a series that sheds light on the content of these analyses.
The Baltimore-Columbia-Towson Housing Market Area (Baltimore HMA) is in central Maryland and includes the city of Baltimore and the surrounding six counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Anne’s. The Baltimore HMA has an estimated population of 2.81 million. A recent Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis highlighted current economic and housing market activity in the Baltimore HMA.
- The Health Services Industry Is Leading Employment Growth
Nonfarm payrolls in the Baltimore HMA have increased every year since 2010, and over the past year nonfarm payrolls grew 1.1 percent, adding 15,600 jobs to the area. Although economic conditions have improved between 2011 and today, the rate of job growth has been slower than the national average. During this period, job growth was strongest in the professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality sectors.
The education and health services sector is the HMA’s largest sector, making up nearly 20 percent of the area’s payrolls. This sector has been growing by an average of 2.3 percent, or 5,200 jobs, per year for nearly two decades. Within the sector, about 70 percent of the job growth occurred in the health services industry, which includes 5 of the 10 largest employers in the area. From 2005 to 2016, the rate of insured people in the HMA increased from 87 percent to 94 percent, driving an increased demand for healthcare services.
Job growth has also accelerated in the leisure and hospitality sector thanks to a growing tourism sector. Recent expansions to the Live! Casino and Hotel and the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore created many jobs in 2018.
Steady Job Growth Forecasted Over the Next 3 Years
Employment growth for the next 3 years is forecasted to average 1.1 percent annually, led by the education and health services sector and the professional and business services sector. Forthcoming expansions are expected for Bank of America by 2020 and Morgan Stanley by 2021 that will add approximately 600 and 800 jobs, respectively. The Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center is undergoing a $469 million renovation and expansion project that will be completed in the next 3 to 5 years and will also boost employment in the HMA.
A Balanced Sales Market and Slightly Soft Rental Market
The overall sales market in the Baltimore HMA is balanced, with an estimated sales vacancy rate of 1.9 percent. Over the next 3 years, demand is estimated for 12,425 new homes.
The overall rental housing market is slightly soft, with a rental vacancy rate of 9.3 percent. The apartment rental market is also slightly soft, with a vacancy rate of 6 percent. Over the next 3 years, demand is estimated for 6,425 new market-rate rental units.
The Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis for the Baltimore HMA breaks down housing market activity into three submarkets: Baltimore City, Northern Suburbs, and Southern Suburbs. For more detailed information on the submarkets, please refer to the full analysis.