In a recent study of the 50 largest metro areas, Baltimore ranked 19th in high stress levels.

The data was analyzed by, which is part of bizjournals, such as the Baltimore Business Journal online.

There was a 10 part formula put together that helped to determine stress factors, including:

1. Unemployment rate (metro area, June 2010, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

2. Rate of per capita income growth, reflecting the average amount of money received by each resident, encompassing such diverse sources as salaries, interest payments, dividends, rental income and government checks (metro area, 2008-09, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis).

3. Families living below the federally designated poverty level, which varies according to family size and composition (metro area, 2008, U.S. Census Bureau).

4. Deaths from circulatory-system diseases per 100,000 residents, covering such maladies as heart failure, hypertension and stroke (central county, 2006, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

5. Percentage of possible sunshine received during an average year (central city, long-term annual average as of 2010, National Climatic Data Center and Weatherbase).

6. Ozone level, expressed as the year’s fourth-highest reading in parts per million (central county, 2008, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).

7. Robberies per 100,000 residents (central city, 2009, Federal Bureau of Investigation).

8. Murders per 100,000 residents (central city, 2009, Federal Bureau of Investigation).

9. Average commuting time from home to workplace, regardless of the means of transportation (metro area, 2008, U.S. Census Bureau).

10. Mortgage affordability, expressed as median house value per $1,000 of median household income (metro area, 2008, U.S. Census Bureau).

The study showed that the unemployment rate in Baltimore was 7.9%, and 57% of days are sunny. (This year, I’d have to say that the % of sunny days has gone up, much to the chagrin of plants, flowers, trees & grass in our area!)

Baltimore was also one of the few cities that saw its’ per capita income rise from 2008-2009 — only three on the list did so, which is great news!

Baltimore housing affordability was also good, with houses being worth about $4,702 per $1,000 of household income. This is great news for Baltimore homebuyers because not only are houses affordable, but on average, values are good to hold on to!

So, if you are considering buying a home in Baltimore, make sure to contact me so I can help you through the process. We aren’t TOO stressful here!