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Md. property values head in different directions

Sunday - 12/29/2013, 8:19am  ET

WASHINGTON - Home values are rising in many of Washington's Maryland suburbs, but new property assessments show signs of continued trouble in southern and western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore.

Property assessments in the mail this week to one-third of all Maryland property owners show overall values of properties, including commercial properties, have risen 4.7 percent over the last three years, according to the state's department of assessments and taxation.

Residential property values across the state are up just 1.6 percent, while commercial property values are up 16.3 percent.

The largest home-value increases are in Montgomery County (5.8 percent), Howard County (5.7 percent), Baltimore City (4.4 percent) and Prince George's County (4.2 percent).

The assessments are done on one-third of properties each year, so these properties were last assessed three years ago.

Owners who bought one of the properties in 2008 may still be in the red. In Montgomery County, for example, these properties lost 14.5 percent of their value last time they were assessed.

Commercial property values soared in Montgomery (up 31.4 percent), Anne Arundel (up 23 percent) and Howard (up 17.6 percent) counties.

But while property values largely gained in the 95 corridor and between Frederick and Washington, prices fell sharply across Southern Maryland, the Eastern Shore and the western part of the state.

Residential properties are down 3.3 percent this year in Calvert County and 2.4 percent in St. Mary's County.

Combining residential and commercial properties, the largest drops in value by percentage are in Garrett and Somerset counties. The largest gains are in Anne Arundel and Howard counties and Baltimore City.

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