Hundreds of varied opportunities for home ownership, ranging from the stable - and still most popular - single house to condominium cluster and apartment dwellings, have been enlarging the owner-occupant ratio in this metropolitan area in recent years.

Despite soaring prices for both new and resale dwellings and also apartments and town houses converted to condominium ownership, buyers have continued to remain in the market for dwellings that range in price from the $30,000 range for one-bedroom condiminium apartments to upper six-figure categories for large houses on small estates.

Not even the recent spurt in mortgage interest rates and the impact of the 10 percent usury rate ceiling in Maryland have perceptibly slowed the enthusiasm of young, first-time buyers.Nor those who are "trading up" from dwellings on which they have enjoyed considerable appreciation in price and value through the unusual inflation of recent years.

More than 25,000 new dwellings for sale are being added to the area market annually and several thousands of additional dwellings are converted annually as owners of rental properties recognize the appetite for ownership as a means of getting out of the rental housing business. Increasingly, intown and nearby rental properties have been rehabilitated for the sale market in the medium-price range, where buyers abound.