Nearly 70 percent of the thousands of residential properties changing hands in Baltimore in a wave of real estate speculation were bought or sold by Washington area residents, according to a study by a Baltimore newspaper.
The Baltimore News American, which studied 1,750 property sales by investors in dozens of Baltimore's neighborhoods over a period of two years, found that about 1,200 were purchased by Washington area residents at a cost of $5.7 million.
"If you look at the 10 square blocks of Capitol Hill, you're looking at Baltimore tomorrow," said one Chevy Chase investor quoted in the newpaper article that appeared today.
According to the copyrighted series Washington area investors working in groups are using massive amounts of capital to purchase large chunks of property from longtime Baltimore landlords.
The study said that the impact of the speculation by Washingtonians and other investors may be to drastically change Baltimore's long tradition of ethnic neighborhood life. It has already resulted in the displacement of many city residents from their homes by speculators who have evicted them, or by rising rents they cannot afford, the article said.
The article said that among those Washington area businessmen involved in the buying and selling are Max Berg and Jerome Golub, who have bought or leased 650 residential properties in Baltimore in the last year, investing $2.8 million.
Another is Jerry Lilienfield, who, through his Ashley Investment Corp., has bought and resold about 100 houses and made on paper more than $250,000 in one year, according to the news report.
In one instance last year, the study says, Lilienfield's firm bought 50 decrepit properties from a Baltimore owner for about $100,000, an average price of about $2,000 each. Then, the next day, Lilienfield sold 31 of the properties to a Washington group for $190,000, or about $6,000 each.
Another Washington-based corporation, TC Investments, bought 12 west Baltimore properties for $18,000 in September 1978, according to the study, and sold them five months later for $62,000 to a Potomac businessman.
The newspaper article said in addition to investors from the Washington area, speculators from Baltimore and as far away as overseas have bought an estimated 6,000 to 9,000 properties since 1977.